Weber State 21
|Next up: Weber State (10-2) at Southern Utah (9-2)
Saturday, 8 p.m. (ET)
COMPARE: Southern Utah vs. Weber State
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Andrew Vollert, TE, Weber State (8 catches, 112 yards, 1 TD)
THE TURNING POINT
With about three minutes remaining in the game and Weber State stuck in a 3rd and 8 situation, Vollert snagged a pivotal 9-yard completion for a first down that took the Wildcats down to the WIU 42. That effectively helped keep a feisty Western Illinois team at bay.[divider]
Hey, let's be honest here — this was an FCS quarterfinal game stuck in a 1st-round body. Why was a game like this being played so early? So many of the other first-round games were pure stinkers and we stick this one in week one? But hey, that's how the committee saw it (insert rolling eyes here). There are two fantastic FCS programs. Weber State gave the Pac 12's California fits (led Golden Bears 20-17 going into 4th), and Western Illinois knocked around the FBS opponent it had to play — Coastal Carolina — to the tune of 42 points, in South Carolina.
The Western Illinois team also hammered FCS Playoff team Northern Arizona this year, along with what is now a very scary looking Northern Iowa playoff team that won nearly by half a hundred today in its game. Today's matchup was being played too early, just one opinion here. At any rate, this one lived up to its billing. Western Illinois had given up 28 points in November in three games, and Weber State has the best defense in the Big Sky Conference. It played out just like that. Somebody's season had to end.
PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK
Weber State and Southern Utah were Big Sky co-champions, even though SUU beat Weber State 32-16. The reasoning? Not all the Big Sky teams play each other, so you can't go straight by head-to-head to determine an outright champ, and SUU did lose another league game. Now they get to break the tie, but this time its at Southern Utah and the last one was at Weber State. SUU is really cruising now, but then again — so are the Wildcats. Fasten your safety belts folks, the winner goes to defending national champion James Madison, most likely.
Southern Utah 24, Weber State 21