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GAMEDAY: Sampling Saturday’s action around the Big Sky Conference

September 3, 2016

ROCKY MOUNTAIN (1-0) AT NORTHERN COLORADO, 2 P.M.

Series history: No prior meetings

About the Battlin’ Bears: Rocky Mountain College is an NAIA school in Billings, Montana. … The Battlin’ Bears won their season opener against Frontier Conference foe Montana State University-Northern, 31-21. … Head coach Jason Petrino is a cousin of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino and Idaho head coach Paul Petrino.

About the Bears: UNC was picked to finish 10th in preseason media and coaches polls. … The Bears return key playmakers Trae Riek (1,143 all-purpose yards, 9 TD) and Jacob Knipp (1,969 yards passing, 13 TD) on offense, with defensive stoppers Taylor Risner (109 tkl, 4.5 tfl), Mikhail Dubose (11.5 tfl, 5.5 sacks) and Keifer Morris (8.5 tfl, 5 sacks). … Last season’s 6-5 record marked UNC’s first winning season since joining the Big Sky in 2006.

UC DAVIS AT OREGON, 2 P.M.

Series history: No prior meetings

About the Ducks: Starting quarterback Dakota Prukop is a graduate transfer from Montana State. Prukop accumulated 3,831 total yards of offense with 39 touchdowns a season ago. … In Prukop’s last meeting with UC Davis in 2014, he racked up 509 yards of offense with six touchdowns in a 77-37 Montana State win.

About the Aggies: Davis returns leading rusher Manusamoa Luuga (166-613, 6 TD), who also led the team with 51 receptions (371 yards, 1 TD). … Head coach Ron Gould graduated from Oregon in 1988 and coached there from 1990-91. … The Aggies’ two largest margins of defeat in school history both came against Pac-12 schools (Stanford, California).

CENTRAL WASHINGTON AT PORTLAND STATE, 3:30 P.M.

Series history: PSU leads 8-3

Last meeting: PSU 53, CWU 6 (1977)

About the Wildcats: Central Washington has finished .500 or better four consecutive seasons. ... Senior quarterback Justin Lane led the GNAC with 222.3 passing yards per game a season ago and was second with 12 passing touchdowns. ... Lane also threw a league-high 10 interceptions.

About the Vikings: Head coach Bruce Barnum (STATS FCS Coach of the Year) and quarterback Alex Kuresa (Big Sky Newcomer of the Year) return after garnering major honors in their first seasons at the forefront of the PSU program. ... Xavier Coleman was named a preseason all-American after racking up 52 tackles, five interceptions and two tackles for loss in 2015. ... Kuresa accumulated 2,723 yards of total offense.

EASTERN WASHINGTON AT WASHINGTON STATE, 6 P.M.

Series history: WSU leads 3-0

Last meeting: WSU 24, EWU 20 (2012)

About the Cougars: Washington State has faced a Big Sky team every season since 2010, going 5-1 in those matchups. ... Junior quarterback Luke Falk was among the FBS national leaders last season with 4,561 yards passing and 38 touchdowns. ... WSU returns leading receiver Gabe Marks (104-1,192, 15 TD) from last season’s offense that led the nation in passing yards per game.

About the Eagles: EWU is led by senior wideout Cooper Kupp, the preseason Big Sky Offensive Player of Year who is on pace to break multiple FCS all-time records. ... The Eagles plan to use three quarterbacks against the Cougars. Jordan West, Reilly Hennessey and Gage Gubrud all saw action last season. ... EWU led the FCS in 2015 with 353.3 yards passing per game.

WESTERN OREGON at SACRAMENTO STATE, 7 p.m.

Series history: Sac leads 1-0

Last meeting: Sac 31, WOU 17 (2010)

About the Wolves: WOU has finished .500 or better each season since 2006. ... The Wolves return top rusher Malik Braxton (89-634, 4 TD) and leading receiver Paul Revis (44-710, 6 TD) from last season’s team that went 7-4 and scored 24.3 points per game. ... Senior Lineman Leonard Wood and junior wideout Zack Suarez are Sacramento natives.

About the Hornets: Senior running back Jordan Robinson is one of the top returning rushers in the Big Sky after tallying 808 yards and four touchdowns last season. ... Former Hornets basketball standout Cody Demps is on the team as a wide receiver. ... Senior linebacker Manoa Pearson is Sac’s returning tackler (77 tkl, 7 tfl, 2 sacks).

SAINT FRANCIS (PA) AT MONTANA, 8 P.M.

Series history: No prior meetings

About the Red Flash: Saint Francis returns defensive standouts Solomon Leaeno (61 tkl, 12.5 tfl, 4 sacks), Lorenzo Jerome (58 tkl, 5.5 tfl, 3 INT) and Delondo Boyd (49 tkl, 3 tfl, 3 INT) from last season’s unit that ranked second in the Northeast Conference in scoring defense.

About the Grizzlies: Defensive end Caleb Kidder was named preseason Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 82 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 18 sacks last season. ... Senior wideout Ellis Henderson is one the league’s top returning receivers (49-817, 7 TD). ... Montana led the FCS in attendance in 2015.

NORTHERN ARIZONA AT ARIZONA STATE, 8:45 P.M.

Series history: ASU leads 21-14-6

Last meeting: ASU 63, NAU 6 (2012)

About the Sun Devils: Arizona State has opened the season with a Big Sky Conference opponent each of the past four seasons (4-0). ... Head coach Todd Graham’s first victory at ASU was against Northern Arizona in 2012.

About the Lumberjacks: Head coach Jerome Souers is five wins shy of the Big Sky career wins record. ... Sophomore quarterback Case Cookus was named FCS Freshman of the Year in 2015 (3,117 yards, 37 TD, 5 INT). ... Junior wide receiver Emmanuel Butler trailed only Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp in Big Sky receiving yards last season (1,208).