"It was a methodical plan that those guys put together all week long and came out and performed really well."
The Montana State Bobcats were also able to climb up in Monday's poll, benefiting from a Georgia Southern loss to move one spot from No. 4 to No. 3 in the rankings. The Bobcats reeled off 13 fourth-quarter points to avoid a disheartening loss to Drake over the weekend and are now 2-0 on the young season.
Taking a step back in the polls this week, Montana and Eastern Washington each suffered a crushing defeat in a tight game. Montana struggled with Appalachian State's rushing attack in a 35-27 loss, while the Eagles narrowly fell at the hands of local rival Washington State by four points, 24-20.
Not to be outdone on a big weekend for the FCS, Sacramento State managed to put itself on the map with a monster victory over Colorado, and is now among the schools also receiving votes.
With the start of the 2012 college football season upon us, The Sports Network has released the first of its weekly 2012 FCS Playoff Projections.
The Montana State Bobcats, led by junior quarterback DeNarius McGhee (a leading candidate for the Walter Payton Award), are projected as the top seed, which awards them a first-round bye. They'll start their playoff push with a second round matchup against the winner of Northern Iowa vs. Eastern Washington on Saturday, December 1st in Bozeman.
Montana, who finished tied atop the Big Sky in 2011 (9-2 overall, 7-1 Big Sky) are unseeded, and will begin play by hosting Youngstown State in Billings on December 1st.
Eastern Washington, the 2010 FCS champion, will begin play against Northern Iowa on November 24th in Cedar Falls.
The FCS Playoff final will be played at Dallas Stadium on January 5th.
Montana State, Montana, and Eastern Washington have been ranked in the top 15 of the FCS Coaches Poll, which the NCAA released on Wednesday.
Just over a week after The Sports Network released its FCS Top 25 media poll, the coaches have also placed this Big Sky trio into the upper part of its poll. While Montana State now sits at No. 4 in both polls, the other schools have been ranked differently by the coaches:
4. Montana State 10. Montana 15. Eastern Washington
Montana State, which went 10-3 last season, returns star quarterback DeNarius McGhee. McGhee is expected to lead the Bobcats on a similar course as last season, the year in which they advanced to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs. He returns after throwing for 2,799 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Eastern Washington's ranking at No. 15 is a few spots lower from the No. 12 spot it received in the media poll. After winning the 2010 National Championship led by SMU transfer Bo Levi Mitchell, the Eagles went just 6-5 last season. But hopes are high again with Kyle Padron, another SMU transfer, set to quarterback in Cheney.
Montana looks to recover from a tumultuous offseason that saw its coach and athletic director fired, and its returning starting quarterback from an 11-3 team dismissed due to various off-field incidents.