NAU visits Cal Poly in search of third straight win
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona will look to extend its winning streak to three games Saturday with a visit to Cal Poly. Kickoff at Alex G. Spanos Stadium is set for 6:05 p.m.
The Lumberjacks, coming off back-to-back wins over Sacramento State and Idaho State, are 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Big Sky play as they prepare for third away game of the conference schedule. They are ranked No. 16 in The Sports Network media poll and No. 19 in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll this week.
Overall, NAU has won five of six games since opening the season with a loss at Arizona. The Lumberjacks are 2-2 on the road this year, winning their last road game 39-38 over Sacramento State after rallying from a 17-point deficit.
Cal Poly, on the other hand, has played just one Big Sky home game, routing Weber State 47-0 on Oct. 12. The Mustangs are 3-4 overall and 2-1 in league play.
This will be the ninth meeting between NAU and Cal Poly in the schools' history.
Saturday's game will feature two of the top running backs in the conference, if not the FCS, as NAU's Zach Bauman leads the league in rushing at 126.3 per game and Cal Poly's Kristaan Ivory ranks second at 115 yards per game.
Bauman is coming off a huge performance last week, earning Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week and The Sports Network FCS National Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors for his career-best 266-yard, two-touchdown outing against Idaho State. The senior is just 116 yards shy of becoming the ninth player in FCS history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season four
times in his career.
As a team, Cal Poly ranks first in the Big Sky in rushing offense with an average of 287.3 yards per game.
Chase Cartwright has solidified the quarterback position for NAU since coming on after halftime of the comeback win over Sacramento State. In about a game and a half of action, the junior has completed 73.3 percent of his passes for 365 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions.
And the NAU defense remains among the league's best, ranking 33rd nationally in yards allowed at 351.9 yards per game and 56th in scoring at 25.9 points per game. The Lumberjacks also lead the FCS in defensive scores with six, four of those being interception returns.
Saturday's game can be streamed live at www.WatchBigSky.com.