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Big Sky Picks: Expect points in Eastern Washington and Montana rivalry tilt

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 26, 2019

Eastern Washington wide receiver Nic Sblendorio (7) catches a pass before he is pushed out of bounds by Montana safety Justin Strong (5) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Missoula, Mont. (AP Photo/Patrick Record) ORG XMIT: MTPR106 (Patrick Record / AP)
Eastern Washington wide receiver Nic Sblendorio (7) catches a pass before he is pushed out of bounds by Montana safety Justin Strong (5) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Missoula, Mont. (AP Photo/Patrick Record) ORG XMIT: MTPR106 (Patrick Record / AP)

Eastern Washington beat writer Ryan Collingwood predicts each week’s Big Sky Conference football games. He has a 57-13 record.

Idaho State (3-4, 2-2) at Southern Utah (1-7, 0-4): Idaho State has been hit and miss all season. Southern Utah has been mostly miss, even at home. ISU 35, SUU 21

No. 4 Weber State (5-2, 3-0) at No. 22 UC Davis (4-4, 2-2): Make-or-break for UC Davis, a team many thought would make a deep FCS playoff run this season. Jake Maier is a great QB, but he’s going to have his work cut out against a Wildcats defense that’s made a lot of offenses miserable, even on the road. Weber State 24, UC Davis 21.

Portland State (5-3, 3-1) at Northern Arizona (3-4, 1-2): Huge game for NAU, fighting for its FCS-playoff-berth life. Also a big game for the Vikings looking to prove its legitimacy, as three of their Big Sky wins are against the bottom-dwellers. Case Cookus is great in Flagstaff’s dome, where the capable Lumberjacks are much better. NAU 41, Portland State 28

No. 7 Sacramento State (5-2, 3-0) at Cal Poly (2-5, 1-3): How hot are the Hornets? Three straight wins over Top 25 clubs. A game at Cal Poly and its tough, contrasting triple-option offense has the makings of a trap game, but Troy Taylor’s club is locked in. It won’t be easy in SLO, though. Sacramento State 35, Cal Poly 21.

No. 9 Montana State (5-2, 2-1) at North Dakota (4-3): North Dakota is another animal in its dome, beating ranked foes UC Davis and Sam Houston State this season. Montana State is coming off a loss and a bye week and dealt with its share of injuries. The more physically superior Bobcats have the edge if it doesn’t turn the ball over. Montana State 32, UND 24

Eastern Washington (3-4, 2-1) at No. 10 Montana (5-2, 2-1): This will either be a coming out party for Griz backup quarterback Cam Humphrey in his first Division I start, filling in for starter Dalton Sneed who was ruled doubtful early this week. Or EWU’s turnover-forcing defense will take advantage of his inexperience in a make-or-break game for the Eagles against its rival. I think Barriere can move the ball on this pedestrian defense, and get a couple key late stops. EWU 42, Montana 34

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