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Conference Schedule Gets Rolling With Four Games

September 16, 2000|From Staff Reports

All nine Big Sky Conference football teams are in action today, with all but Montana opening conference play.

Northern Arizona (1-0) plays at Cal State Northridge (1-1) in a 3:05 p.m. game. Northern Arizona defeated the Matadors, 30-10, at North Campus Stadium the final week of last season.

Northern Arizona defeated Chadron State, 32-24, last week. Northridge is coming off a 19-13 overtime victory at Southwest Texas State.

In other games, Portland State plays at Cal State Sacramento in a battle of 2-0 teams. Idaho State (1-0) is at Eastern Washington (1-1) and Weber State (1-1) is at Montana State (0-1).

Montana (1-1), ranked No. 10 in Division I-AA, hosts Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a team the Grizzliesdefeated last season, 28-14.

Portland State is ranked No. 9, Northern Arizona is No. 23 and Sacramento State is No. 25.

Portland State and Sacramento State are coming off their first victories over Division I-A opponents.

Portland State recorded its biggest victory, defeating Hawaii, 45-20, in Honolulu. Jimmy Blanchard passed for 235 yards. Sacramento defeated Cal Poly, 37-18.

Last season, a loss at Sacramento cost Portland State a share of the Big Sky title.

Safety Steve Morse of Portland State was selected Big Sky defensive player of the week after returning an interception 19 yards for a touchdown, recording seven tackles and forcing a fumble.

"They were the best team in the league last year and are just as strong this season," Coach John Volek of Sacramento said about Portland State. "They are nationally ranked and just beat a [Division I-A] school, so they have a lot of momentum."

Sacramento has yet to win a Big Sky opener. Charles Roberts, the first I-AA player to rush for two 2,000-yard seasons, rushed for 240 yards last week.

Idaho State, last in the Big Sky last season, is coming off a 58-10 rout of Montana Tech.

Montana quarterback Drew Miller was selected the Big Sky's offensive player of the week after a career-best 505-yard passing performance in a 45-38 victory over I-A Idaho.

"It was a very physical game last week, as it always is against Idaho," first-year Coach Joe Glenn of Montana said. "We did a lot of good things last Saturday, but we still need to work on some things and polish them up."

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