Big Sky picks: Eastern Washington, Weber State wins would set up a top-10 matchup in Utah next week

October 6, 2018

Idaho (2-2, 1-1) at Idaho State (3-1, 2-0)

Idaho’s offense had just one touchdown in a home win against lowly Portland State last week, and is averaging a meager 18 points against Division I foes. That won’t get it done in a packed Holt Arena, which hasn’t been this excited since Jared Allen was on the edge. Running back James Madison (107 ypg) will be load for the Vandals, who haven’t played in Pocatello since 1997.

The pick: Idaho State 30, Idaho 21

No 16 UC Davis (3-1, 1-0) at Northern Colorado (0-5, 0-2)

The high-powered Aggies won’t exactly provide a pick-me-up for the winless Bears. There’s good news for UNC, though: a date with Portland State next week.

The pick: UC Davis 38, Northern Colorado 17

Portland State (1-4, 0-2) at No. 14 Montana (4-1, 2-0)

Portland State’s FCS playoff berth in 2015 feels like a decade ago. The Vikings have won just one of their last 17 games, and that was against an NAIA program. I don’t see that trend changing against the surging Griz, who will be celebrating homecoming in a raucous Washington-Grizzly Stadium. QB Dalton Snead seems to be getting better every game.

The pick: Montana 43, Portland State 20.

No. 6 Weber State (3-1, 1-0) at Northern Arizona (2-3, 1-1)

The Wildcats bring one of the best defenses in the country to the Skydome, where NAU is a much different team, QB Daniel Bridge-Gadd will need to play one of the best, turnover-free games of his career for NAU, which can’t drop another game if it hopes to return to the playoffs. The last time the Lumberjacks played a team this physical, it lost 40-8 at Missouri State.

The pick: Weber State 35, NAU 24

Cal Poly (1-4, 0-2) at Sacramento State (2-2, 0-1)

The Hornets impressed me when they gave San Diego State all it could handle on the road and exchanged blows with Montana in Missoula in another close game, both Sacramento State losses. Now they’re at home. Kevin Thomsen is one of the most underrated QBs in the FCS and will put the struggling Mustangs in a early hole and cruise.

The pick: Sac. State 48, Cal Poly 21

Southern Utah (0-4, 0-1) at No. 5 Eastern Washington (4-1, 2-0)

When EWU adopted the “Leave no doubt” credo for this season, Southern Utah – though the Eagles may not admit it – was at their front of their minds. Its second-half collapse in Cedar City, Utah was a big reason why the EWU missed the playoffs in 2017. Now snake-bitten Thunderbirds come to Cheney for their fourth straight road game without their foremost quarterback, Chris Hebling (injury). SUU has the experience and some weapons to give the Eagles some fits, but, like the last two weeks, Aaron Best’s club has too much firepower – and its angry.

The pick: EWU 42, Southern Utah 21

Bye week: Montana State

Collingwood’s season record: 39-8 (.829)

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