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AROUND THE BIG SKY

AROUND THE BIG SKY

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Montana’s Joey Counts

Montana’s Joey Counts completes the trio of Griz running backs who have combined for 1,098 yards this season.

Cal Poly at No. 10 Montana

1:37 p.m. (Max Media, WatchBigSky.com)

Series history: UM leads 14-2.

Records: CP is 2-0, 3-3, UM is 2-1, 5-2.

Last meeting: Montana beat Cal Poly 37-23 in 2011. Jordan Johnson threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

The coaches: Cal Poly’s Tim Walsh is 29-22 in his fifth season ... Montana’s Mick Delaney is 10-7 in his second season.

Notes: The teams first met in 1969 ... Cal Poly’s only win in Missoula came in the 2005 FCS playoffs ... UM is 3-0 at home this season. Cal Poly is 1-2 on the road ... UM leads the Big Sky in scoring offense (40 ppg) and scoring defense (17.5 ppg) ... Cal Poly leads the Big Sky and ranks third nationally in rushing offense at 283.8 yards per game ... Cal Poly has started three different QBs this season ... Montana QB Jordan Johnson has 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions ... UM is plus-10 in turnover margin. Cal Poly is minus-1 ... Cal Poly LB Nick Dzubnar is second in the league with an average of 10.2 tackles per game ... Cal Poly has 16 rushing touchdowns this season. UM has allowed a league-low four rushing touchdowns ... CP’s Kristaan Ivory averages a league-best 114.0 rushing yards per game.

UC Davis at Northern Colorado

1:35 p.m. (WatchBigSky.com)

Series history: UC Davis leads 4-1.

Records: UC Davis is 2-1, 2-5. UNC is 0-3, 1-6

Last meeting: UC Davis beat the Bears 34-30 in 2008. Greg Denham threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

The coaches: UC Davis Ron Gould is 2-5 in his first season. Earnest Collins Jr. is 6-22 in his third season.

Notes: The teams first met in 2003 ... .UC Davis has won four straight meetings ... UC Davis is 2-0 in Greeley ... Northern Colorado has lost six straight. The Bears are 1-3 at home this season ... UC Davis is 1-2 at home ... NC QB Seth Lobato has nine career 300-yard passing games, including the previous two ... NC is third in the Big Sky in passing offense at 309.6 yards per game ... UC Davis is second in the league in pass defense, allowing 188 yards per game ... Opponents are converting just 31.4 percent of their third downs against UC Davis, the best mark in the league ... UC Davis is minus-1 in turnover margin. Northern Colorado is minus-5 ... UC Davis RB Gabe Manzanarez has 606 rushing yards in six games this season ... NC WR Jace Davis is averaging 102 receiving yards per game ... NC LB Clarence Bumpas averages 9.8 tackles per game.

Sac State at North Dakota

1:35 p.m. (WatchBigSky.com)

Series history: Tied 1-1.

Records: Sacramento State is 2-1, 3-4. UND is 1-2, 2-4.

Last meeting: North Dakota beat Sacramento State 35-13 in 2012. Mitch Sutton rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

The coaches: UND’s Chris Mussman is 30-30 in his sixth season ... Sacramento State’s Marshall Sperbeck is 33-41 in his seventh season.

Notes: This is North Dakota’s sixth home game in seven games ... The teams first met in 1979, a 31-0 UND win in the only other meeting between the teams in Grand Forks ... Sacramento State is minus-4 in turnover margin. North Dakota is minus-11 ... Sac State WR DeAndre Carter has caught a TD pass in five straight games and leads the league with 11 ... UND’s Greg Hardin ranks third in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 202 ... Sac State LB Todd Davis leads the league with an average of 10.6 tackles per game ... UND averages 29.3 points per game. Sac State averages 27.1 ... Sac State allows 31.7 points per game. North Dakota allows 37.2 ... UND is 1-4 at home this season with all four losses coming to ranked teams ... Sacramento State is 1-2 on the road.

No. 5 Montana State at Weber State

3:35 p.m. (ROOT SPORTS; DIRECTV Audience Network 101)

Series history: MSU leads 28-20-1.

Records: MSU is 2-0, 4-2. WSU is 0-3, 1-6

Last meeting: DeNarius McGhee threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns to lead Montana State to a 44-24 win in 2011 in Ogden.

The coaches: Montana State’s Rob Ash is 54-24 in his seventh season ... WSU’s Jody Sears is 3-15 in his second season

Notes: The teams first met in 1963. MSU has won three straight and 11 of the last 13. MSU has won seven straight in Ogden dating back to 1996 ... MSU is 1-2 on the road this season. WSU is 1-1 at home ... WSU was shut out by a Big Sky team last week for the first time since 2002 ... MSU is coming off a bye ... MSU’s DeNarius McGhee needs 160 passing yards to reach 10,000 in his career ... McGhee is seeking his 34th win as a starter, which would put him in second place in the league all-time ... McGhee is 23-3 in Big Sky games as a starter ... MSU is plus-7 in turnover margin. WSU is minus-4 ... MSU RB Cody Kirk has a league-high 11 rushing touchdowns. WSU has allowed a league-high 21 rushing touchdowns ... MSU has a league-high 19 sacks. WSU has allowed a league-high 21 sacks.

Southern Utah at No. 4 Eastern Washington

6:05 p.m. (WatchBigSky.com)

The series: EWU leads 4-2.

Records: SUU is 2-1, 5-2. EWU is 2-0, 4-2

Last meeting: Colton Cook made a 36-yard field goal with three seconds to play as SUU upset the Eagles 30-27 in Cedar City. Brad Sorensen threw for 392 yards in the win.

The coaches: SUU’s Ed Lamb is 31-31 in his sixth season. EWU’s Beau Baldwin is 48-21 in his sixth season.

Notes: The teams first met in 1998 ... EWU won 31-24 in 2010 in Cheney ... EWU’s only league loss in 2012 came to Southern Utah ... EWU is 1-0 at home this season. SUU is 3-1 on the road, with the only loss to Washington State ... EWU QB Vernon Adams leads the nation in pass efficiency with a rating of 188.3. He has thrown 21 touchdowns with just five interceptions ... SUU is second in the league in rush defense at 115.1 yards per game ... EWU is 18-3 at home on the red turf ... SUU is plus-9 in turnover margin. EWU is plus-1 ... SUU has lost just one fumble all season ... EWU is 20 for 21 on red zone chances, a league-high 95.2 success rate. SUU’s defense has allowed scores on 68.2 percent in the red zone, the second-best mark in the league.

Idaho State at No. 19 Northern Arizona

5:05 p.m. (WatchBigSky.com)

Series history: NAU leads 32-17-1.

Records: ISU is 1-2, 3-3. NAU is 2-1, 4-2

Last meeting: NAU had 609 yards of offense in a 50-10 win over the Bengals in 2012 in Pocatello.

The coaches: ISU’s Mike Kramer is 6-22 in his third season ... .Northern Arizona’s Jerome Souers is 88-87 in his 16th season.

Notes: Kramer and Souers have each coached in the Big Sky for 16 seasons ... The teams first met in 1951 ... NAU has won seven straight over the Bengals ... NAU leads the series 19-3-1 in Flagstaff, where ISU has not won since 1984 ... ISU has lost 41 straight road games, including 28 in conference play ... NAU’s Zach Bauman ranks seventh in league history with 4,294 rushing yards. He needs 182 to move into sole possession of sixth place ... ISU averages 327.3 passing yards per game. NAU allows a league-low 173.3 passing yards per game ... NAU is plus-1 in turnover margin. ISU is minus-4 ... ISU has 16 sacks this season after amassing just nine in all of 2012 ... ISU averages 24.5 points per game. NAU averages 20.5..NAU allows 25.2 points per game. ISU allows 26.2 ... ISU is second in the league, averaging 24.3 yards per kick return.

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