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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

This Week In The Big Sky

October 28, 2000

Montana (6-1, 4-0) at Portland State (6-1, 3-1)

Portland State was cruising until last week's 41-9 loss at Weber State. Now, the Vikings need a victory against defending champion Montana to regain a share of first place. The Grizzlies have won four Big Sky Conference titles in the last five years, including two in a row. "Until somebody beats them over the season, they deserve to be the dynasty of the Big Sky," Portland State Coach Tim Walsh said. Montana is without quarterback Drew Miller, who sprained his right shoulder two weeks ago against Cal State Northridge. Miller will travel with the team to Portland but is not expected to play. John Edwards, who led the Grizzlies to a 17-7 victory over Northern Arizona last weekend, is expected to start. Edwards completed 22 of 44 passes against Northern Arizona. Jimmy Blanchard passed for 550 yards against Montana last season in a 51-48 overtime victory.

Weber State (5-3, 4-2) at Idaho State (4-3, 3-2)

Coach Jerry Graybeal of Weber State has urged his team to forget last week's victory over Portland State, especially since the Wildcats will be out of Big Sky contention with one more loss. "The good thing is that we know exactly where we stand," Graybeal said. "You don't have to mention it to any coach or player." With an emotional game against the Bengals, the Wildcats will have their hands full trying to win their fourth in a row. Weber State has won four in a row over Idaho State but the last two games each were decided by three points. Last season, Mike Minnoch's 27-yard field goal gave Weber State a 27-24 victory. In 1998, the Wildcats won 6-3, the first Big Sky game between the teams where no touchdowns were scored. Cole Cooper of Weber State threw for a career-high 303 yards and three touchdowns against Portland State.

Montana State (0-7, 0-5) at Northern Arizona (2-5, 1-4)

Montana State has lost a school-record 13 in a row. The Lumberjacks have lost their last five. Northern Arizona leads the series, 19-15, including a 13-4 edge in Flagstaff, Ariz. The game features two of the Big Sky's top running backs, Marcus King of Northern Arizona and Ryan Johnson of Montana State. King ranks third in rushing in the conference with 951 yards. Johnson, who had a hyper-extended knee last week against Northridge, is fifth with 637 yards.

Nonconference:

Cal State Sacramento (5-3) at UC Davis (7-0)

This marks the 48th meeting in a rivalry known as the Causeway Classic. Davis leads the series, 31-16. Sacramento won last season, 48-27. Despite being held to fewer than 100 yards in his last three games, Charles Roberts of Sacramento needs 103 yards to eclipse the Division I-AA career rushing record of 6,193 yards set by Jerry Azumah of New Hampshire from 1995-98. Roberts needs 306 yards to become the NCAA's career rushing leader for all divisions.

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