The FCS No. 17 Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (3-1, 1-0 Big Sky Conference) look to continue their defensive dominance as it faces the No. 7 Montana State Bobcats in Bozeman, Mont. on Oct. 5.
The Lumberjacks defeated their long-time rival in the Montana Grizzlies on Sept. 28, 34-16 in Flagstaff, behind two touchdowns from their defense.
First, linebacker Ryan Reardon returned a Jordan Johnson fumble for a 98-yard touchdown in the second, then Marcus Alford returned a fumble for a 22-yard score to open the third quarter.
It was NAU’s second win in the series, after losing the previous 14. The last time NAU won two straight against the Griz, came in 1986-87.
Senior running back and NAU’s all-time leading rusher Zach Bauman rushed for 118 yards and scored two early first-quarter touchdowns to put the Jacks up 14-0 near the eight-minute mark of the opening quarter.
Bauman, who was playing in his fourth and final game against Montana (3-1, 0-1 BSC), rushed for his second-straight 100-yard game. The senior rushed for 151 yards in his past game against South Dakota.
Bauman wraps up with seven-career touchdowns and over 750 all-purpose yards versus the Griz. The Chandler, Ariz. product rushed for at least 100 yards in all four games with Montana.
The Lumberjacks held the Griz to 249 total yards, after Montana came into the game averaging over 500 per contest, and scoring 42 points per game.
NAU’s defense has been outstanding thus far, forcing seven turnovers and returning five for scores in the last three games.
The Bobcats (3-2, 1-0 BSC) defeated the Jacks 41-24 back in the 2011 season in Bozeman. Montana State gained 524 total yards, and rushed for 296 yards to move to 6-1, while being ranked third in the FCS.
NAU was held to 49 yards on the ground, 37 from Bauman.
The Bobcats have scored at least 26 points in all five games, and are coming into this match up averaging 42.8 per game.
MSU defeated North Dakota 63-20 in its Big Sky opener. The Bobcats gained 586 total yards, led by Shawn Johnson and Cody Kirk, combining for 25 rushes and 238 yards. Kirk rushed for five touchdowns. It was the second game this season that Kirk scored at least five touchdowns, and the senior has rushed for 10 through five games. He had 13 in 11 games last season.
In his 16th season at NAU, head coach Jerome Souers holds a 6-8 record versus the Bobcats.