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Weber State football re-enters rankings at 23; Heckard named defensive player of week

By Brett Hein - | Oct 26, 2021

Robert Casey, Weber State Athletics

Weber State running back Dontae McMillan, center, fights through Eastern Washington defenders Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Cheney, Wash.

After a string of 56 consecutive weeks ranked in at least one of the two main national polls was broken last week, Weber State football is back in the rankings.

The Wildcats (3-4, 2-2 Big Sky) re-entered both the STATS FCS Top 25 and the FCS Coaches Poll at No. 23 after defeating then-No. 2 Eastern Washington 35-34 on Saturday.

Eastern Washington has lost to Big Sky opponents only twice at home in the last six seasons; both defeats came against Weber State.

Weber State is now one of six teams from the Big Sky ranked in the Top 25, and each one could ultimately secure a playoff bid depending on results the final three weeks.

Montana State (7-1, 5-0), now alone atop the Big Sky standings, is ranked No. 6 in the STATS FCS Top 25. Eastern Washington (7-1, 4-1) fell to No. 7 with the loss to WSU.

UC Davis (7-1, 4-1) was voted No. 9 this week. Montana (5-2, 2-2) is No. 11, Sacramento State (5-2, 4-0) is No. 15, and Weber rounds it out at 23.

Defending champion Sam Houston State remains No. 1, with the top five also comprised of North Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Villanova and James Madison.

HECKARD NAMED POTW

WSU sophomore cornerback Eddie Heckard was named the Big Sky defensive player of the week for his exploits in the win at Eastern Washington.

Heckard picked off a pass during an important juncture in the fourth quarter, was second on the team with seven tackles, and recorded a forced fumble and a pass breakup. He returned his interception to midfield, setting up a WSU touchdown drive.

VOLLEYBALL FEATURED IN MAG

Weber State volleyball, which just ran its home match win streak and its current win streak of consecutive sets each to 22, was featured Tuesday on a national site for the sport, VolleyballMag.com.

The piece, titled “Weber State and its ‘bunch of misfits’ fitting in just fine atop the Big Sky,” highlights Rylin Adams and Ashlyn Power as lightly recruited players who have helped make history at WSU.

Dani Nay currently leads the country with 52 service aces and WSU is 15-5 overall. With a 10-0 mark in the Big Sky, WSU has already clinched a spot in the conference tournament with six matches left. The team won the program’s first NCAA Tournament match in the spring season and, in the two seasons played this calendar year, WSU is 28-1 against Big Sky opponents.

JAZZ HIRE FORMER COMMISH

The Utah Jazz announced the hire of the former Big Sky Commissioner to a new post with the team.

The Jazz hired Andrea Williams as the Chief Experience Officer, tasked with “delivery of world-class experiences for guests, partners, and employees of the organization,” a release from the team said.

Williams was commissioner of the Big Sky Conference from 2016-18 before leaving to be the Chief Operating Officer of the College Football Playoff.

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