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In the FCS Huddle: Week 5 Preview

University of South Dakota coach Joe Glenn said it best during Tuesday's Missouri Valley Football Conference weekly conference call.

"We really find out who we are in our league when we start fighting each other," he said.

Well, wait no longer. Let the brawl begin.

Week 5 of the FCS season is a hotbed for conference matchups, some bigger than any in recent memory.

Between the five Top-25 matchups Saturday, there may be none more intriguing than top-ranked North Dakota State traveling to Brookings, S.D., for a clash with the sixth-ranked South Dakota State Jackrabbits - a Missouri Valley Conference showdown.

It may seem odd, though, that such an eye-catching contest would be played so early on in the conference schedule. North Dakota State, the two-time defending national champion, narrowly took down the Jackrabbits in Fargo last November, 20-17, before winning by a more decided score in the playoffs, 28-3.

Maybe it's a good thing to get such a huge game out of the way early, and in SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier's eyes, this is a pretty good time for the No. 1 team in the country to come to Brookings.

"Why (this game with NDSU) has been at the end of the year, well, that wasn't by choice, I guess," Stiegelmeier said. "Maybe some people prefer that based on where we're both at at the end of the year. For us, this is a great matchup, to be honest with you, because we get our tails whipped at Nebraska (last Saturday) and we can't go out on that with the No. 1 team in America coming to town. It's just the way it's supposed to be. Let's get ready and become the best football team in the league come Saturday."

South Dakota State's main weapon is certainly no secret, and Stiegelmeier doesn't care that everyone in the league knows what running back Zach Zenner can do. No team has been able to stop him yet.

In fact, the last team to actually grind Zenner to a halt was North Dakota State in the second round of the 2012 playoffs. And the Bison did it twice last year.

In the first matchup in November, Zenner was limited to 43 yards on 14 carries. Then when the teams met in the playoffs on Dec. 1, Zenner was slowed to 46 yards on 15 carries. Whatever the secret is, the Bison have recently shown they possess it.

Zenner, a junior, has yet to be slowed this season, even by a BCS team. At Nebraska, he carried the ball 21 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns. But can the Jackrabbits risk not having their star player produce at the level he's been accustomed to? Eleven of the Jackrabbits' 19 touchdowns scored on offense this season are credited to Zenner.

North Dakota State returns one of the most productive defenses in the nation though, so does coach Craig Bohl think his team can stop Zenner a third straight time?

"It's a tall order," Bohl said. "I think South Dakota State's offensive line is doing a great job opening up holes, and Zenner is doing a great job finding those holes, and he's got excellent speed. So he makes you pay the price if you're not in the right position.

"We've got to make sure we're assignment-sound, and I think the other thing is make sure we do a great job with the pursuit angles, and trying to limit some of those plays, and to shorter gains."

Stiegelmeier said a football program builds a reputation. In the last few years, North Dakota State has undoubtedly reconstructed its reputation as the dominant force in the FCS. And lately Stiegelmeier has fielded questions about being in the shadow of the Bison, especially in the conference.

Now South Dakota State has a golden opportunity on Saturday to take a step out of the Bison's shadow and into the spotlight.

"It has nothing to do with facilities, it ain't nothing to do with the coaches, understand?" Stiegelmeier said. "You've got to beat them on the field, and you've got to do that a number of years to be looked at as the same type of program.

"We all want what Nebraska has. We all want what North Dakota State has, what Montana has, what Appalachian State had. I'm not envious; that's the goal. There's a target next to getting to Frisco" for the FCS championship game in Texas.

The following is a game-by-game breakdown for The Sports Network FCS Top 25 and other select games (all times ET):

Thursday, Sept. 26

No. 18 Cal Poly (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) at Portland State (3-1, 0-0)

Kickoff: 10:15 p.m. (ROOT-NW)

What to know: Here we go, into the dark and unpredictable tunnel that is in- conference matchups. And what a week we have to kick off a large chunk of these games.

Cal Poly plays in its first Thursday night game since it won its season opener in 2002 over Toledo, 44-16. And in games coming off a bye week, the Mustangs are 4-0 under coach Tim Walsh.

But this isn't a deadbeat Portland State team. The Vikings average 42.8 points per game and 612 yards offensively per contest. That's no joke.

In last weekend's victory over UC Davis, the Vikings were once again led by quarterback Kieran McDonagh and running back D.J. Adams, who scampered for 208 yards and two touchdowns. But over the last nine seasons, Cal Poly boasts a 23-11 record against Big Sky teams. Should Portland State win, the chances of moving into the nation's Top 25 after being picked to finish 10th in the Big Sky preseason coaches' poll looks pretty strong, especially with a win over a ranked opponent.

Prediction: Portland State 37, Cal Poly 30

Saturday, Sept. 28

Butler (2-2, 0-0 Pioneer) at Jacksonville (2-2, 1-0)

Kickoff: noon

What to know: Last season's Pioneer Football League tri-champion Butler will get its first crack at a conference opponent Saturday as the Bulldogs travel to face Jacksonville. The Dolphins have already defeated PFL's Morehead State and are 1-0 in league games.

And this is by no means an easy intro to conference play this season for Butler.

The Dolphins are 12th in the nation in total offense, averaging 492.3 yards per game, and even more impressive is the team's scoring offense, which is tied for fourth in the nation with 46.5 points per game.

Even if sophomore quarterback Kade Bell isn't healthy, backup Steven Hughes has proven himself capable of running the offense with his 269-yard, two- touchdown performance against Warner Southern. The Dolphins are a legitimate contender for this year's PFL automatic bid, while Butler's two wins have come against Division III opponents this season.

Prediction: Jacksonville 40, Butler 24

No. 16 Fordham (4-0) at Saint Francis (Pa.) (1-2)

Kickoff: noon

What to know: Fordham is on an absolute roll, moving up another five spots in the national poll after last weekend's hefty 52-7 beatdown of Columbia. But this week versus Saint Francis (Pa.), it's possible the Rams may have a focus issue.

One week from this Saturday, the Rams will host Lehigh in a matchup of likely the two best Patriot League teams, although Fordham is not eligible for the league championship. But a victory over the ranked Mountain Hawks would seriously help the Rams' chances of receiving an at-large bid to the FCS playoffs.

But that's not the agenda for this week. The Red Flash have returned one of the top running backs in the nation this season in Kyle Harbridge, who rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns in the team's win over Lincoln (Pa.) a week ago. Shut down Harbridge, though, and you can effectively cancel out the Red Flash's production (subtract Harbridge's 230 rushing yards and the Red Flash would have accumulated just 107 against its Division II opponent). The Fordham offense, led by Michael Nebrich and Carlton Koonce, will then be waiting to pounce.

Prediction: Fordham 43, Saint Francis (Pa.) 20

No. 10 New Hampshire (1-1) at No. 21 Lehigh (3-0)

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m.

What to know: Here we have the weekend's first of five matchups featuring two Top 25 teams, and it's a doozy.

New Hampshire, coming off a bye week, leads the all-time series against the Mountain Hawks, 11-2. The last time these two teams met, however, didn't necessarily reflect that lopsided series tally.

The Wildcats won an overtime thriller, 48-41. Since that game in 2011, Lehigh has lost a total of two games, and just one in the regular season. But the Mountain Hawks have struggled to pull off a decisive victory this season against a formidable opponent. And New Hampshire easily disposed of Lehigh's fellow Patriot Leaguer Colgate just two weeks ago, 53-23.

New Hampshire's running attack will have to be present, which shouldn't be an issue. The Mountain Hawks have allowed a 100-plus yard runner in each of their first three games.

Prediction: New Hampshire 35, Lehigh 27

No. 12 Coastal Carolina (4-0) at Elon (1-3)

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m.

What to know: One would think with Liberty dropping a game to Richmond last weekend Coastal has established itself as the class of the Big South Conference. But check the rearview again because here comes Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern.

None of these teams has played a conference game yet, though a hot start does bear importance when vying for a playoff spot. And Gardner-Webb is nipping at Coastal's heals as the Runnin' Bulldogs cracked the Top 25 this week. Charleston Southern is 4-0, but hasn't registered impressive wins like GWU.

But again, the Chanticleers have another on-the-lighter-side matchup this weekend with Elon, a Southern Conference team that was pounded by Georgia Tech early in the year, and suffered double-digit losses to both North Carolina A&T and Appalachian State.

Elon's 599 yards of offense surrendered to Appalachian State looks pretty good to Coastal's offense, which is ranked 11th in the nation in rushing offense, 18th in total offense and 15th in scoring offense.

Prediction: Coastal Carolina 34, Elon 20

Eastern Kentucky (2-2, 0-0 OVC) at No. 8 Eastern Illinois (3-1, 0-0)

Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. (espn3.com)

What to know: This conference matchup just smells like an instant classic.

There's certainly a lot of history between the two Ohio Valley Conference teams - Eastern Kentucky holds the series lead, 12-8. Both programs also rank in the top 10 all-time in playoff appearances (Eastern Kentucky with 20 and Eastern Illinois with 14).

But the past doesn't mean a lot for the outcome of this game. Eastern Illinois has been playing phenomenal offensively behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and narrowly missed out on the team's second win over an FBS opponent last weekend against Northern Illinois.

Eastern Kentucky is up there in the OVC, but hasn't supplied anything as impressive this season as EIU. The Colonels are coming off a 56-34 victory over former OVC member Morehead State, where freshman running back J.J. Jude gained 195 yards on the ground with four touchdowns.

With a record in sight, though, Garoppolo should take this game over for the Panthers, and he will become the program's and conference's all-time leader in career touchdown passes (he's tied with former EIU great Tony Romo at 85).

Prediction: Eastern Illinois 45, Eastern Kentucky 31

No. 1 North Dakota State (3-0, 0-0 MVFC) at No. 6 South Dakota State (3-1, 0-0)

Kickoff: 3 p.m. (NBC North Dakota, Midco SN)

What to know: Not only is this one of the most highly anticipated conference games of the year, it's quickly becoming one of the nation's top rivalries.

Any time two teams meet with such a grand standing in the national polls, more than a few heads will turn to observe the battle. And it will be a battle.

The biggest question for North Dakota State will be this: Can the defense replicate its success from last season against one of the top FCS running backs in Zach Zenner? In 2012, the Bison held Zenner to 43 yards and 46 yards rushing in respective games (the latter being in a playoff matchup).

This season, Zenner's lowest rushing total is 117 yards in Week 1 against Butler. He's amassed 200 yards in a game twice in 2013. A large part of the game's outcome will hinge on his success for the Jackrabbits.

On the other hand, North Dakota State has a pretty spectacular offense of its own, and the third-best scoring defense in the nation (currently holding opponents to 10.3 points per game).

With much anticipation, this game could easily live up to its hype.

Prediction: North Dakota State 31, South Dakota State 28

No. 2 Eastern Washington (2-1) at No. 4 Sam Houston State (3-1)

Kickoff: 3 p.m. (CSN-HOU, NW)

What to know: He's played in three games this season, two of them against FBS opponents, yet Eastern Washington's Vernon Adams still ranks second in the FCS with 12 passing touchdowns.

Sam Houston State can expect to see plenty of Adams airing it out Saturday, just like EWU can expect running back Timothy Flanders to be a significant part of the Bearkats offense.

Over the past three years, there has been so much meat to the story of these two teams. Although this is the first time the Bearkats and Eagles will meet in the regular season, we can simply look back to the playoffs from last year as a prime example of why this is such a highly regarded game. Eastern Washington almost overcame a 35-0 halftime deficit to win, but fell just short to the Bearkats, 45-42, in the national semifinals.

Can the Eagles snap the Bearkats' 17-game home winning streak, currently the longest in the FCS? We'll find out in what is the non-conference game of the year.

Prediction: Eastern Washington 42, Sam Houston State 35

No. 11 Montana State (2-2, 0-0 Big Sky) at North Dakota (1-2, 0-0)

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.

What to know: It was a tough outing last Saturday for the Bobcats, who lost to Stephen F. Austin in the team's first FCS test without DeNarius McGhee under center. And it was a rough outing for Jake Bleskin, the sophomore backup.

Bleskin connected on 21-of-41 passing for 308 yards and two touchdowns, but he also tossed four interceptions. That doesn't necessarily explain away the 52 points allowed by the defense, although giving the ball up four times is bound to yield some points off turnovers.

Now the Bobcats get to face Big Sky opponent North Dakota, which is coming off a bye week, but dropped two straight contests to nationally ranked competition in South Dakota State and Montana prior to the week off. If turnovers are now a common theme with the Bobcats, expect a few more tough games until McGhee's separated shoulder is fully healed. Although UND holds a slight series lead over the Bobcats in Grand Forks, 7-6-1, Montana State should be able to rebound and escape with a win.

Prediction: Montana State 30, North Dakota 21

Charleston Southern (4-0) at Appalachian State (1-2)

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.

What to know: Charleston Southern has played well through four weeks of the regular season, and is the second of two unbeaten teams in the Big South Conference. But take a glance at the Buccaneers' schedule and it seems fairly obvious why.

The last three wins for CSU have come against opponents like Shorter (Division II), Campbell and Norfolk State. The Buccaneers did pull out an impressive, 32-29 win over The Citadel in Week 1. Not to say this team is a fluke, but when taking a look down the schedule, things don't seem as rosey for CSU.

App State is sort of on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Mountaineers began the season severely underwhelming their opponents and started off 0-2. But after a win over Elon on Saturday, the ship appears to be righting itself. Both Mountaineers quarterbacks, Jamal Londry-Jackson and Kameron Bryant, were effective, but true freshman Marcus Cox was the story, gaining 308 all-purpose yards and scoring three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing).

It didn't hurt App State to get Sean Price back from a suspension, either, as he contributed a touchdown receiving.

A one-game winning "streak" is certainly not considered getting on a roll, but it could be the start.

Prediction: Appalachian State 32, Charlestown Southern 21

Maine (3-1, 0-0 CAA) at No. 22 Richmond (2-2, 0-0)

Kickoff: 4 p.m. (CSN-NE and MA, TCN-PHI, CSS)

What to know: Maine's perfect season hopes came to an end against Northwestern Saturday, which certainly isn't the end of the world because next to no one had Maine tabbed as a perfect team in 2013.

But the Black Bears will get a second test in a row this weekend when they open their CAA Football schedule with Richmond. The Spiders bounced back from their dismal effort against Gardner-Webb two weeks ago by beating Liberty, 30-21. Richmond's top playmakers were in form against the Flames, as receiver Ben Edwards caught nine passes for over 100 yards, while Jacobi Green handled the bulk of the running attack, racking up 181 yards.

Two turnovers really stung Liberty last weekend, as three turnovers did the same to Maine. Black Bears quarterback Marcus Wasilewski had two passes picked off and returned for scores against Northwestern. If Richmond can continue to force turnovers, or if Maine simply provides them, the Spiders will be able to come away with a victory.

Prediction: Richmond 24, Maine 17

Penn (1-0) at No. 19 Villanova (1-2)

Kickoff: 5 p.m.

What to know: Villanova got at least turned in the right direction last Saturday with a 35-6 win over Stony Brook, the Wildcats' first win of the season.

It looks like the bye week Villanova had served its purpose. Now the Wildcats will welcome fellow Philadelphia program Penn this weekend. Penn opened its season against a struggling Lafayette team and won, 27-21. The Ivy League's preseason favorite to repeat as champion will have to get a strong performance from fifth-year senior quarterback Billy Ragone in order to upset Villanova.

'Nova's win over Stony Brook dropped the Seawolves completely out of the Top 25 rankings, and now the Wildcats look to climb back up the rankings after their fall from the fifth spot to open the season. Health is still a concern for some of Andy Talley's players, but as long as John Robertson is under center, the Wildcats will have a chance against almost any team.

Prediction: Villanova 31, Penn 17

No. 9 McNeese State (4-0) at No. 5 Northern Iowa (3-0)

Kickoff: 5 p.m.

What to know: As far as non-conference matchups go, this one is still overshadowed by Eastern Washington-Sam Houston State. But there's no contest for the second-best non-conference game of the week, it's this one.

This is the first time the Cowboys are 4-0 to start the season since 2007, when the team finished the regular season 11-0. And the team is ranked second in the country in points per game, averaging 49.5 (last weekend's total of 43 against Weber State was the fewest points scored by the Cowboys this season).

This is the 11th time McNeese State and Northern Iowa have met up in the regular season (UNI holds a 6-4 series lead), and the game is at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. Like McNeese State, the Panthers haven't started a season 4-0 since 2007, and with a win they can reach that mark. The Cowboys will look to starting quarterback Cody Stroud to lead them offensively, while the Panthers hope they can put running back David Johnson to work. Let's see if McNeese State can handle an actual defensive threat.

Prediction: Northern Iowa 32, McNeese State 25

No. 3 Towson (4-0, 0-0 CAA) at Stony Brook (1-2, 1-1)

Kickoff: 6 p.m.

What to know: Towson let North Carolina Central hang around until the second half started, then the running game took over (per usual).

Terrance West added another 149 yards and two touchdowns to his already gushing resume, while freshman Darius Victor buried the ball in the end zone twice. Quarterback Peter Athens is doing just enough under center to sustain a relatively healthy balance in the offensive play calling, but we have yet to see what happens if Towson's run game is unproductive.

Enter Stony Brook, which dropped from the Top 25 rankings after the team's second straight loss, most recently to Villanova. The new CAA team will be without running back Marcus Coker for the rest of the season due to injury, which is devastating for the Seawolves. This game could have featured one of the great running back matchups of the season had he stayed healthy.

With that said, the Stony Brook run game wasn't productive at all against a wounded Villanova defense, and against Towson likely won't look much better. Unless something changes soon, the weight of the team will fall squarely on quarterback Lyle Negron's shoulders, which could make Stony Brook's first season in the CAA an obsolete one.

Prediction: Towson 34, Stony Brook 17

Point (2-1) at No. 25 Gardner-Webb (3-1)

Kickoff: 6 p.m.

What to know: Gardner-Webb got so good at beating teams in the Top 25 in the first few weeks, it seems only appropriate for the Runnin' Bulldogs to join them.

In consecutive weeks, kicker Jordan Day provided the only points for Gardner- Webb in wins over Richmond and Wofford. Now facing Point University, an NAIA program, the Runnin' Bulldogs will look to keep the winning streak alive. But does the offense have something to contribute?

Gardner-Webb's defense certainly looked strong, holding the Wofford offense to 149 total yards, including five passing. Wofford was also a mere 3-14 on third-down attempts. Keep in mind this game, in which GWU won, 3-0, was played in a driving rainstorm.

Point University shouldn't provide much of a challenge, but when the Runnin' Bulldogs get back on track with Charlotte and then launch into Big South competition, we'll need to see another way of accumulating points, rather than just three at a time.

Prediction: Gardner-Webb 24, Point 10

Chattanooga (2-1, 0-0 SoCon) at No. 15 Georgia Southern (2-1, 0-1)

Kickoff: 6 p.m.

What to know: Both Chattanooga and Georgia Southern are coming off bye weeks, but it's Chattanooga with more to play for in this Southern Conference matchup than the Eagles.

Chattanooga was considered one of the favorites for the SoCon crown this season because Georgia Southern and Appalachian State are ineligible as they transition to the FBS. But an early season loss for the Mocs set them back a bit.

Prior to the bye week though, it was Georgia Southern that dropped a game - its fist SoCon matchup - to Wofford. In that loss, the Eagles still managed 342 rushing yards.

This should be a tantalizing matchup for Chattanooga, which boasts a very strong defense led by defensive end Davis Tull and linebacker Wes Dothard. Keep an eye on those two players in an attempt to limit the Eagles' stable of ball carriers.

Prediction: Georgia Southern 28, Chattanooga 21

No. 14 James Madison (3-1, 0-0 CAA) at Delaware (3-1, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

What to know: James Madison and Delaware are both 3-1 to this point in the season, yet James Madison is ranked, despite facing below-average teams. But this first CAA test of the season for either squad should integrate them into the tougher portion of their schedules nicely.

The game is at Delaware Stadium, a very friendly home environment for the Blue Hens, who have won all three of their games there this season, posting a 47.3 points-per-game average in those contests. Delaware plays seven home games this season and just five road games, some very good news for the Hens.

But JMU provides a powerful offense as well, led by senior running back Dae'Quan Scott, the nation's No. 2 running back in terms of yards gained.

Expect an offensive shootout. We'll learn a lot from this game about which team is better equipped to handle a difficult CAA schedule.

Prediction: Delaware 34, James Madison 28

No. 23 UT Martin (2-1, 0-0 OVC) at Southeast Missouri State (0-3, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

What to know: UT Martin is another Top 25 team coming off a bye week, but unlike Georgia Southern, the Skyhawks were rolling before the break. A win over Chattanooga to start the season and a one-point victory over Central Arkansas lifted UT Martin into the Top 25 in the first place.

The Skyhawks travel to Southeast Missouri State on Saturday to face an underperforming Redhawks team that recently lost to Southern Illinois at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. SEMO did not establish anything of a run game, generating just 53 yards, making its offense pretty one-dimensional.

It's a good thing for the Skyhawks the Redhawks offense is struggling because UT Martin is allowing an average of 35.7 points per game to opponents. Don't discredit Dylan Favre as a big-game quarterback. The junior most recently threw for 146 yards and three touchdowns to help his team beat Central Arkansas.

Prediction: UT Martin 24, Southeast Missouri State 13

Jackson State (2-2, 2-0 SWAC) at Southern (2-2, 2-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

What to know: It's been a jumbled year in the SWAC, and in all likelihood that will continue.

This game features the current East Division co-leader in Jackson State versus the West Division leader Southern. Neither one has impressed immensely this year, and it seems that week in and week out, SWAC teams just beat each other up.

Southern's most recent victory came against Mississippi Valley State, a team that had one of the best SWAC defenses a year ago, but hasn't found its stride in 2013. The Jaguars managed to scrape out the victory despite a net value of zero rushing yards. That's right, zero rushing yards.

But what the run game lacks, quarterback Dray Joseph picks up through the air. The senior has provided the greatest spark for the Jaguars on offense.

Jackson State, on the other hand, has impressed with a solid run game. In the team's win over Texas Southern, the Tigers strung together 214 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Jackson State could put an end to Southern's conference win streak.

Prediction: Jackson State 27, Southern 21

Youngstown State (3-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley) at Southern Illinois (2-2, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

What to know: The Penguins have been teetering on the edge of the Top 25, well, all season, and have only dropped a contest to Michigan State. Now the team looks to start off Missouri Valley play on a high note with a difficult schedule on the horizon.

The Penguins hold a slim 12-11-1 series lead between the two MVFC schools, but lost last year's matchup in Ohio. This time the game is in Carbondale, Ill., where Youngstown State won in 2011.

Senior quarterback Kurt Hess is close to the program's record for career passing yardage, and needs 264 yards to break it. That seems in reach for Hess, who threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns against the Northeast Conference's Duquesne a week ago.

Looking ahead, the Penguins can potentially crack the Top 25 with conference wins early, but once Northern Iowa, North Dakota State and South Dakota State are up, things look a little bleak for Youngstown's playoff chances.

Prediction: Youngstown State 27, Southern Illinois 18

Brown (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Harvard (1-0, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

What to know: Both of these Ivy teams exploded onto the scene in their first game of the season, with Brown easily tossing Georgetown aside, 45-7, and Harvard dismissing San Diego, 42-20.

Harvard was picked second in the Ivy League's preseason poll behind defending champion Penn, but realistically either Harvard or Brown can make a great case for the top spot.

Harvard lost key pieces from the team's 2012 offense, but quarterback Conner Hempel, a junior, stepped in and threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns against San Diego.

Former track star John Spooney was the focal point of Brown's offense, rushing for over 100 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a third score on a 24-yard reception.

Harvard leads the all-time series, 80-30-2, and has won 11 of the last 13 games against the Bears. Although the stats are a bit lopsided in Harvard's favor, expect this game to be a battle to the finish.

Prediction: Harvard 31, Brown 27

No. 7 Montana (3-0, 0-0 Big Sky) at No. 24 Northern Arizona (2-1, 0-0)

Kickoff: 9 p.m.

What to know: Last year in Missoula, Mont., Zach Bauman broke a 75-yard run for a touchdown 10 seconds into Northern Arizona's game with Montana. That was just the beginning for Bauman and the Lumberjacks.

Bauman rushed for 253 yards and three touchdowns in the contest, providing the spark Northern Arizona needed to upset the (what would turn out to be) disappointing Grizzlies. Now, with the game in Flagstaff, the Griz aren't about to let the Lumberjacks do it again.

Bauman finally broke his first 100-yard game this past weekend against South Dakota - it's been a slightly disappointing year for the senior Walter Payton Award candidate. Who knows, maybe he was awakened last weekend.

Montana's defense is pretty stingy, and currently ranks 17th in the country in run defense and eighth in turnover margin with a plus-five. It makes for a perfect matchup.

You can be sure the revenge factor will at least be in the background of the Montana players' minds.

Prediction: Montana 37, Northern Arizona 21

Idle teams:

No. 13 Central Arkansas (2-2)

No. 17 Wofford (2-2)

No. 20 Bethune-Cookman (3-1)

Last Week's Record: 20-4 (.833)

Season Record: 69-28 (.711)

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