Game 6: Football at Montana State for Big Sky Showdown

Wide Receiver Elijah Marks
Wide Receiver Elijah Marks


Northern Arizona (1-4, 0-2 BSC) at Montana State (2-3, 0-2 BSC)

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 • 4 p.m. PT/5 p.m MT

Walkup Skydome, Flagstaff, Ariz.


Radio: Flagstaff HITS 106.1 FM; Phoenix Money Radio 1510 AM & 99.3 FM; Prescott Area 97.9 FM Eagle Rocks; Window Rock/Ft. Defiance, Ariz. & Gallup, N.M. KHAC 880 AM

Audio Stream: and


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Saturday pins Northern Arizona (1-4, 0-2 BSC) versus Montana State (2-3, 0-2 BSC) in a Big Sky showdown. The two teams last played in Bozeman in 2013, and the Lumberjacks are ready to make it two straight versus the Bobcats. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium.

Opening Drive

• Both teams on Saturday will be looking for their first Big Sky Conference win. Both teams are 0-2 to start conference play.

• NAU is in search of its first road win of the season. The Lumberjacks are 0-3 in away games. NAU's last road win was on Nov. 7, 2015 in a 52-30 victory Eastern Washington.

• The Lumberjacks are on a two-game losing slump after falling at Northern Colorado 21-18 on Oct. 1. It was NAU's first game without injured quarterback Case Cookus.

Top Storylines

• Freshman Joe Logan provided a spark last time out tallying 98 rushing yards on 11 carries. Logan has 270 rushing yards on the season, as he's shined so far this season when he has touched the ball.

• Wide receivers Emmanuel Butler and Elijah Marks continue to be at the top of the conference rankings in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The junior playmakers have combined for 963 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

• Defensively, the Lumberjacks have had a pair of linebackers in Jake Casteel and Jake Thomas making plays. Casteel leads the charge with 36 tackles, while Thomas has 28. Safety Keith Graham leads the secondary and is second on the team with 28 tackles, including 22 solo stops.

Blake Kemp completed 35 of 46 passes in his first start at quarterback. He threw for 273 yards and one touchdown. It was the most completions by any starter in their debut since 1986 and the fifth-most yards overall.

Scouting Montana State

• Head Coach Jeff Choate is in his first season at Montana State. Choate arrived in Bozeman after two years as an assistant at the University of Washington. 

• MSU's two wins this season have come against Bryant (W, 27-24) and Western Oregon (W, 55-0).

• All three of MSU's losses have been by three points or less. The Bobcats are 2-1 at home this season and 0-2 in conference play. The Bobcats are on a two-game losing streak heading into Saturday's contest.

• The Bobcat defense has 16 takeaways this season - an FCS high - including nine interceptions for 31 yards. MSU has held its opponents to an average of 20.4 points per game.

• Freshman quarterback Chris Murray broke through for 187 rushing yards against Sacramento State. It was the second-most by a Bobcat in 50 years. MSU's offense is quite even at 903 rushing yards and 998 receiving yards.

• MSU finished the 2015 season, 5-6 overall and 3-5 in Big Sky play for an eighth-place finish.

• The last time NAU and MSU played in Bozeman, the Bobcats captured a 36-7 win over the Lumberjacks. NAU's lone touchdown came from an Austin Hasquet pick-six, in which he returned 37 yards to the end zone. NAU leads the all-time series, 25-23.

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