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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

This Week In The Big Sky

November 11, 2000

Montana (8-1, 6-0) at Weber State (7-3, 5-2)

If Weber State wants to remain in contention for a Big Sky title, the Wildcats had better play the Grizzlies tougher than they did last year. Weber State was embarrassed, 81-22, last season at Montana, which went on to win the Big Sky title. Montana quarterback Drew Miller will start this week after missing most of the last three games with two shoulder injuries. Miller, as the Wildcats might recall, was 23 of 30 for 377 yards and four touchdowns in the first half of last year's game. Weber State still has a remote chance of winning the conference with a victory over No. 1-ranked Montana. The 19th-ranked Wildcats must win Saturday, then hope for for winless Montana State to beat the Grizzlies next week. For Weber State, slowing Miller will be the key. Fortunately, the Wildcats have the conference's best passing defense.

Eastern Washington (5-5, 4-3) at Portland State (7-2, 4-2)

Jesse Chatman went over 1,000 yards last week to give Eastern Washington a 1,000-yard rusher for the sixth consecutive year. However, passing should be a bigger factor in this game. Jimmy Blanchard of Portland State leads the Big Sky in pass efficiency, while the Eagles rank first in pass defense. The winning team has scored at least 30 points in the last three meetings, with the Vikings winning twice.

Cal State Sacramento (6-4, 4-3) at Northern Arizona (3-6, 2-5)

Northern Arizona converted on a two-point conversion in the third overtime to defeat the Hornets, 51-49, last season in Sacramento. With Sacramento coming off a record-setting 64-61 victory over Northridge, expect another high-scoring game. The winning team has scored at least 38 points in each of five Big Sky five meetings between the teams. In his final college game, Charles Roberts of Sacramento needs 32 yards to pass Ron Dayne as the NCAA's Division I career rushing leader.

Montana State (0-9, 0-6) at Idaho State (4-5, 3-4)

This is the last chance for a victory for the Bobcats and first-year Coach Mike Kramer. Montana State scored a season-high 24 points last week against Portland State but remains the lowest-scoring team in the Big Sky. Idaho State has slipped after a fast start. Shane Griggs of Idaho State leads the Big Sky with 2,523 yards passing. DeRonn Finley has 44 receptions, eight for touchdowns.

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