NAU ranked No. 22; Bauman, Dozier honored
OGDEN, Utah -- Northern Arizona’s win over Montana registered across the country as the Lumberjacks made their 2012 debut in the Sports Network FCS Poll on Monday by virtue of their three-game winning streak that started over Football Bowl Subdivision member UNLV on Sept. 8.
NAU is listed at No. 22 in the Sports Network poll. It's the first ranking for the Lumberjacks since they were No. 25 heading into a contest against Sacramento State on Oct. 30, 2010.
North Dakota State sits atop the poll, and Montana State remained at No. 2. Montana dropped from No. 14 to No. 21. Fellow Big Sky school Cal Poly also entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 23. Eastern Washington is at No. 7.
The victory over Montana was the first win for NAU in the series since 1997 and the first win in Missoula since 1986. It snapped a 14-game series losing streak and gave the Lumberjacks a 1-0 start in conference. It was just the second loss by the Grizzlies in their last 35 home games.
NAU rallied with 34 consecutive points, turning a 24-7 deficit into a 41-24 lead and eventual 41-31 lead. The last team to score 34 straight against Montana was Western Illinois in 1999.
Individual honors also rolled in Monday for running back Zach Bauman and defensive back Lucky Dozier. The Big Sky Conference selected Bauman as the Offensive Player of the Week and named Dozier the Defensive Player of the Week.
Bauman was also selected the National Running Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards website and Big Sky Player of the Week by the College Sports Madness website. Dozier garnered one of four National Performers of the Week by College Sporting News.
Bauman, a junior from Chandler, Ariz., rushed for a career-high 253 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns in NAU's win. He scored on a 75-yard run on the first offensive play of the game, scored on a 20-yard run with 11:54 remaining to give the Lumberjacks a 34-24 lead, then sealed the win with a 2-yard touchdown run with 5:53 to play. Bauman, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award, also caught three passes for 21 yards to finish with 274 all-purpose yards.
Dozier, a junior from Sacramento, Calif, recorded eight tackles and intercepted two passes. With Dozier’s help, the NAU defense forced five turnovers and held Montana off the scoreboard from the time it was 24-7 until the final two minutes. Dozier’s second interception came in the third quarter, and he returned it 21 yards to the Montana 21-yard line. That led to a field goal that tied the score at 24-24.