Montana state bobcats football team take the field at Bobcat Stadium
Source: Richie Melby
FCS

Big Sky Preview and Schleiger’s Stakes Week 1 - Saturday

Week 1 of the 2022 season is here for Big Sky football! Ben Schleiger takes a look at the teams and spreads for Saturday’s (September 3rd) games.

Ben Schleiger
Ben Schleiger

We took a look at Thursday's Big Sky games earlier this week, here is a look at the teams and spread for Saturday's games.

Northwestern State at Montana - 1 PM MT - Missoula, Montana

NW State takes a trip up to beautiful Missoula, Montana this Saturday, but the Demons are walking into the Grizzlies’ Den. A large-scale stadium combined with playing a Big Sky team will be too hot for them to handle, especially considering their three wins were against Houston Baptist and McNeese last year. Grizzlies should take this game in dominating fashion.

Prediction: Griz 49, NWS 9

Tennessee State University at Eastern Washington - 1 PM PT - Cheney, Washington

Eddie George rides into The Inferno with his TSU Tigers, but the Eagles could still be a tough team without Eric Barriere at the helm. EWU has a lot to reload after a talented 2021 class. The difference will come on defense as the EWU defense can still stifle an OVC offense. Look for a slow start on both sides and a competitive second half.

Prediction: EWU 31, TSU 20

UC Davis at Cal (FBS) - 1 PM PT - Berkeley, California

Dan Hawkins has done a lot for his alma mater, except for consistency and championships. A good way to improve on this is being competitive with the FBS schools in California. There’s a lot of talent on the Aggies team, but haven’t had a high caliber offense since Jake Maier was at quarterback. The Aggies will have a good first half, but Cal’s roster depth will show in the third quarter.

Spread: 17.5

Take: Over

Prediction: Cal 41, UCD 20

Houston Baptist at Northern Colorado - 2 PM MT - Greeley, Colorado

HBU travels to Greeley with a much healthier team than last year. UNC is also a very different team at face value with nearly 40 transfers out and a large recruiting class to replace the exodus. Max McCaffrey’s underwhelming play calling was aided by a thin defense, mismatches, and a stout talent difference. With so many unknowns about UNC they should still win, but the spread will vary based on who you talk to.

Prediction: UNC 35, HBU 13

McNeese State at Montana State - 6 PM MT - Bozeman, Montana

McNeese State is in a rebuilding period after a few down seasons. Montana State comes into the season as the National Championship Runner-Up. The vast difference between the two not only shows up on the stat sheet, but will also be reflected on the scoreboard as Montana State trys out the depth of their offense.

Prediction: MSU 35, McNeese 7

Idaho at Washington State - 6:30 PM PT - Pullman, Washington

This event is a meaningful game to Idaho natives and alumni as the two schools are only separated by 7-8 miles. The majority of WSU fans don’t share the same excitement about the game as the score board has been all but meaningful for the Vandals. Reports out of camp suggest the quarterback position is not clearly defined and not due to a high caliber of talent. Look for the Vandals to try to find themselves and their identity through trial by fire.

Spread: 28.5

Take: Over

Prediction: Washington State 52, Idaho 9

Utah Tech at Sacramento State - 7:30 PM PT - Sacramento, California

Sacramento State might be receiving overrated claims from some fans, but Utah Tech will not be able to hang with the Hornets. This might be a transitioning FCS team coming into California, but the competition will not reflect that. The Trailblazers will get stung by the Hornets in every quarter.

Prediction: Sacramento State 31, Utah Tech 6

Ben Schleiger

My name is Ben Schleiger and I’m your representative for the Big Sky Conference. I have done work for multiple newspapers and sports blogs including The Johnstown Breeze, The College Sports Journal, The University of Northern Colorado Mirror, and Mile High Maniac. I am a proud alumnus of the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Political Science. In my free time, I like watching sports, playing video games, and trying new foods.