The Weber State football team would desperately like to win at least one road game this season. The Wildcats have just one chance left today, and they may just be facing their toughest road game of the year.
The Wildcats take on 11th-ranked Montana at 12:05 p.m. in Grizzly Stadium. The Grizzlies were one of the preseason favorites to win the national I-AA title and began the season ranked No. 1. They fell to No. 2 after losing to I-A Wyoming and then fell even further after losing back-to-back Big Sky games, to Eastern Washington (40-35) and Northern Arizona (27-24).They have bounced back with a pair of wins over Cal State North-ridge and Portland State and are primed for a run at the I-AA playoffs. But they need to beat Weber State and Montana State in the finale to assure themselves a spot in the playoffs.
"They are the premier team in the Big Sky," said Weber State coach Dave Arslanian. "All roads to the championship or playoff berths go through Missoula first. They return the league offensive and defensive MVPs from last season."
Over the years, the Wildcats have had more trouble with Montana than any team in the Big Sky, particularly during the past decade. Their last win in Missoula was in 1987, and they've only won one of the last nine meetings.
Arslanian has used three different starting quarterbacks this season and has been trying to keep his decision on today's starter under wraps. Redshirt freshman Josh Heupel started last week after Steve Buck, who started the previous seven games suffered a concussion and was forced to sit out against Sacramento State. Arslanian will likely stay with Heupel and bring in the more experienced Buck should he falter.
The Grizzlies are led by quarterback Brain Ah Yat, who has passed for more than 2,000 yards this year and 16 touchdowns. Josh Branen is the top rusher with 591 yards and six touchdowns.
After today, the Wildcats have just one game remaining, Nov. 22 at home against Idaho State.