Northern Arizona (NAU) was in a similar situation nearly a year ago. Two games left and in sight of the FCS playoffs for the first time since the 2003 season.
Last season, only two HOME games remained for the Lumberjacks, but with losses to Southern Utah and Cal Poly to end the year, NAU found themselves outside looking into a packed and loaded Big Sky conference.
Three other schools would be selected into the postseason with the Lumberjacks sitting in a very lonely fourth spot, and prepared for colder, than usually, weather in Flagstaff.
Turn the clock to Nov. 9, 2013. NAU is on a bye, sitting at 5-1 in the conference, and 7-2 overall. Again, the Lumberjacks see two games remaining on their schedule.
Senior Night will be on Nov. 16 in the Walkup Skydome as Walter Payton award finalist Zach Bauman will play his final regular season game at home as NAU hosts Northern Colorado (UNC).
Follow that up and the Lumberjacks end the season at Southern Utah (SUU), one of the teams that ended NAU’s season from a year ago.
Honestly, NAU shouldn’t have any trouble with UNC as the Bears are tied for last in the conference at 0-5. SUU may be some trouble at 3-2 in the Big Sky, but the Lumberjacks hold a 3-2 record in 2013 on the road, with their only losses coming to the FBS-Arizona Wildcats and the FCS No. 4 Montana State Bobcats.
In those losses, NAU only scored a combined seven points, while in its three wins, the Lumberjacks averaged nearly 26 points per game.
Against the Bears, NAU will take its 4-0 home record and look for an undefeated season at the Skydome for the first time since that 2003-playoff team accomplished the feat. The Lumberjacks average almost 36 points per game at the dome.
Last season, NAU defeated the Bears at UNC 12-10, while losing to SUU at home 35-29 in 3OT.
The last time NAU hosted UNC came in 2011 when it defeated the Bears 34-14.
The Lumberjacks are 3-2 versus SUU since 2008, winning their last visit to Cedar City, Utah, 19-14 during the 2008 season.