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First-week Big Sky attendance tops 220,000

A total of 221,020 football fans witnessed Big Sky Conference teams during Week 1 of the 2005 season. The number is one of the highest one-week totals in conference history.

Four Big Sky Conference teams played at home during Week 1 in front of crowds in excess of their respective 2004 home-game averages.

Weber State made its debut under Ron McBride in front of a school-record 17,593 fans at Stewart Stadium. The Wildcats won the game over Division II Western State 61-0. The 17,593 eclipsed the previous record of 17,312 set in 1973 against Utah State. Weber State's largest crowd in 2004 was 9,246. The Wildcats' total home 2004 attendance in six games was 34,735, roughly double Saturday's attendance.

The University of Montana beat Fort Lewis 55-0 in front of 23,432, an opening-game record at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The crowd was the seventh-largest crowd in stadium history. Montana averaged 22,118 fans in 10 home games last season.

Idaho State's home opener, a 38-13 victory over Southern Utah, was witnessed by 7,301. Idaho State averaged 6,649 fans per home game in 2004.

Northern Arizona drew 8,758 for its 55-13 victory over Adams State last Thursday night. The Lumberjacks averaged 8,228 fans per game in 2004.

A total of 57,084 witnessed the four Big Sky Conference home games for an average of 14,271 per game.

Four Big Sky Conference teams played in front of large crowds at Division I-A venues in Week 1. Sacramento State played intrastate rival Cal in front of 65,938, while Montana State nearly pulled off an upset of Big 12 Oklahoma State in front of 43,857. Portland State battled Oregon State in front of 42,263 at an expanded and remodeled Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. Eastern Washington played before 11,878 at San Jose State.

An average of 27,628 were in attendance at games featuring Big Sky Conference teams in Week 1. The average at the end of the 2004 season was 9,197 fans per game.

In Week 2, Montana State, which averaged 12,365 fans per game at Bobcat Stadium in 2004, makes its home debut against a tough Stephen F. Austin squad.

The other six Big Sky teams in action are all on the road, including four at Division I-A stadiums. Montana travels to Auzten Stadium to play Oregon, while Northern Arizona travels South to take on the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. Nationally ranked Fresno State makes its 2005 debut against Weber State. Kentucky is at home for the first time against Idaho State.