MISSOULA – Chad Chalich made the most of his start in place of injured Montana quarterback Brady Gustafson, and the Big Sky Conference recognized his accomplishments on Monday.

The senior quarterback was named the ROOT Sports offensive player of the week after his record-setting performance in the Grizzlies’ 62-44 win over Idaho State. Chalich passed for 388 yards and set a new program record with seven touchdown passes.

He also rushed for a score, giving him eight total TDs on the day, which is also a new Griz football record.

Mitch Dailey of Southern Utah and Griffin Roehler of Northern Arizona won the defensive and special teams player of the week awards.

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Dailey had two interceptions and made eight tackles in the Thunderbirds’ 38-21 win over Montana State.

Roehler made four field goals in NAU’s 33-20 win over Weber State. He’s one of only seven players in the FCS to make four or more field goals in a game this season. The win also marked coach Jerome Souers’ 112th victory, setting a Big Sky Conference record.

North Dakota negotiating with Missouri Valley Football Conference, per report

The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald is reporting that North Dakota is negotiating with the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Summit League.

The newspaper obtained text messages between UND athletic director Brian Faison and Missouri Valley Football Conference commissioner Patty Viverito. The text messages appear to outline the steps necessary for UND to leave the Big Sky Conference.

UND has been in the Big Sky Conference since 2012 and would be committed to playing the conference football schedule through 2019, according to the Herald.

The full story can be read here.

Grizzlies start climb back up polls

The Grizzlies climbed to No. 18 in the STATS FCS Top 25 and No. 17 in the FCS Coaches’ Poll. They’re still ranked behind three Big Sky Conference teams – Eastern Washington, North Dakota and Cal Poly – in the STATS FCS Top 25, but jumped Cal Poly in the FCS Coaches’ Poll.

Eastern Washington, which defeated Cal Poly last week, is still the third-ranked team in both polls behind Sam Houston State and Jacksonville State. UND is 12th in the STATS FCS Top 25 and 10th in the FCS Coaches’ Poll, while Cal Poly is 16th and 20th.

North Dakota State is fourth in both polls, The Citadel is fifth in the STATS FCS Top 25 and James Madison is fifth in the FCS Coaches’ Poll.

Up next

*All times Mountain

Montana at Northern Colorado, noon
UC Davis at Montana State, 1:30 p.m.
Cal Poly at Weber State, noon
Northern Arizona at North Dakota, noon
Southern Utah at BYU, 1 p.m.
Idaho State at Eastern Washington, 4:30 p.m.
Portland State at Sacramento State, 7 p.m.