OGDEN, Utah — The Big Sky Conference has selected the ROOT SPORTS football Players of the Week for games played on Saturday, Sept. 22. Northern Arizona running back Zach Bauman is the Offensive Player of the Week. Teammate Lucky Dozier is the Defensive Player of the Week. Southern Utah return man Josh Smith is the Special Teams Player of the Week.
Bauman, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound junior from Chandler, Ariz., rushed for a career-high 253 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns in Northern Arizona’s 41-31 upset of No. 14 Montana. Bauman scored on a 75-yard run on the first offensive play of the game. Bauman scored on a 20-yard run with 11:54 remaining to give the Lumberjacks a 34-24 lead. He iced NAU’s first win over Montana since 1997, and first in Missoula since 1986 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 5-10, 185-pound junior from Sacramento, Calif, recorded eight tackles and intercepted two passes in Northern Arizona’s win over Montana. With Dozier’s help, the Northern Arizona defense forced five turnovers and helped erase a 17-point second-quarter deficit. After falling behind 24-7 in the second quarter, the NAU defense held UM off the scoreboard until the final two minutes. Dozier’s second interception came in the third quarter. He returned it 21 yards to the Montana 21-yard line. It led to a field goal, which tied the game 24-24.
Smith, a 5-11, 178-pound redshirt freshman from South Jordan, Utah, helped spark Southern Utah’s 49-42 win over Portland State when he returned the opening kickoff of the second half 95 yards for a touchdown. Smith’s return tied the game 28-28, marking the first time the game had been tied since the start. SUU trailed 21-3 after the first quarter. SUU outscored the Vikings 29-14 in the second half to earn a victory in its first Big Sky Conference Game. Smith finished with six kick returns for 173 yards. He became the first Sky player to return a kick for a touchdown this season.
ROOT SPORTS, the official TV partner of the Big Sky Conference, will televise 12 conference games in 2012. This Saturday features a doubleheader. At 1:38 p.m. Mountain, Southern Utah plays host to No. 2 Montana State. At 4:15 p.m. Pacific, No. 7 Eastern Washington plays host to No. 21 Montana State.
— Big Sky Sports Information