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Montana, Sacramento State set to battle for the top spot in the Big Sky

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Sacramento State at Montana State - Oct. 12, 2019
Posted at 5:06 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 19:25:40-04

MISSOULA — The No. 6 Montana Grizzlies are coming off their open Week 7 with a tough test ahead at Sacramento State.

"They are a contender this year, they are undefeated in the Big Sky and so are we. So, it’s a big game this weekend, that’s for sure," said Montana linebacker Dante Olson.

Both teams are currently on a tear in the FCS, but that bye last week for the Griz could either prove to be a momentum killer or booster.

"Bye weeks in the middle of the season are the best time. Actually halfway through, so it’s actually perfect to have a bye week halfway through the season, get fully rested up, recovered, and got to get after it this weekend," said Olson.

But Montana coach Bobby Hauck knows sometimes bye weeks can come at the wrong time. Either way, it doesn't faze him much.

“Sometimes when you’re playing well it’s not good to have a bye week or an open date. But that’s all mindless discussion because it’s there on the schedule in April. So, we worked hard, got some recruiting in, got some good practice time. Hopefully our guys are freshened up and ready to go," said Hauck.

However Montana approaches the game, Sac State still brings a handful of weapons to the table, led by quarterback Kevin Thomson. Hauck had high praise for the reigning Big Sky offensive player of the week, but he knows Thomson's partner in the backfield is just as tough to stop.

"The running back, (Elijah) Dotson, is terrific. I think he may be the best running back in the league. I’ve got a really high opinion of him," said Hauck.

Last year it was close, but Montana ended on top 41-34. This year Sacramento State has all its guys healthy and both teams are playing at an elite level. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. (MDT) Saturday.