Montana State will enter Saturday’s 112th Brawl of the Wild as the second-ranked team in the nation.
The Bobcats, 9-1, held steady at No. 2 in the Sports Network FCS football poll that was released Monday after their 65-30 rout of Portland State last Saturday. Montana State can claim at least a share of the Big Sky Conference regular-season championship with a win at Montana on Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Kickoff is at 1:38 p.m.
The top five teams in the TSN poll all held their positions heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Defending national champion North Dakota State (9-1) is No. 1, followed by the Cats, Sam Houston State (8-2), Old Dominion (9-1) and Eastern Washington (8-2).
Northern Arizona (8-2) dropped four spots to No. 15 after the Lumberjacks were upset by Southern Utah, 35-29 in triple overtime. Cal Poly moved up two notches to No. 17 on the heels of its 70-14 rout of Idaho State.
Northern Colorado quarterback Seth Lobato was named the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
Southern Utah safety Tommy Collet Jr., Montana State defensive lineman Caleb Schreibeis, and Cal Poly linebacker Kennith Jackson, were named to share the Defensive Player of the Week honor, and Montana State returner Shawn Johnson was named the Special Teams Player of the Week.
Lobato, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior from Eaton, Colo., completed 24 of 38 passes for 418 yards and four touchdowns to lead Northern Colorado to a 42-34 victory over Weber State. Lobato’s 418 passing yards rank as the third most in school history. Lobato threw TD passes of 65, 13, 15 and 35 yards. He also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown. Lobato helped the Bears to their first win over the Wildcats.
Collet Jr., a 6-4, 194-pound junior from Moorpark, Calif., recorded a career-high 11 tackles and returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown in Southern Utah’s 35-29 triple overtime upset of No. 11 Northern Arizona. Collet Jr. sparked the upset with his interception return that gave the Thunderbirds a 7-0 lead.
Schreibeis, a 6-3, 252-pound senior from Billings, registered two sacks and two forced fumbles to go along with seven total tackles in Montana State’s 65-30 win over Portland State. His first forced fumble came in the first quarter and set up MSU’s first touchdown. Schreibeis leads the nation in forced fumbles with seven.
Jackson, a 6-foot, 232-pound senior from Santa Clara, Calif., intercepted two passes in the first 2 1/2 minutes of Cal Poly’s 70-14 win over Idaho State. Both interceptions led to Cal Poly touchdowns.
Johnson, a 5-9, 172-pound sophomore from Bakersfield, Calif., returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown in Montana State’s 65-30 win over Portland State. Johnson’s punt return for a score was MSU’s first since 2007. Johnson finished the game with 155 all-purpose yards, with 73 on punt returns, 27 on kick returns, 54 receiving yards and 1 rush yard.