After beating the Idaho State University Bengals in the last regular season game of the 2016–17 season, Weber State University football punched a ticket to the first round of the 2016 NCAA FCS Playoffs on Nov. 26, where they’ll face off against University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
Weber State has been to the playoffs just five times in school history. This will be the first advancement in post-season play since 2009.
“We’re really excited to make the playoffs and have our season continue,” Weber State Head Coach Jay Hill told Weber State Athletics. “This team, especially the group of seniors, deserves this opportunity. … We felt we deserved to get in the playoffs by finishing third in the Big Sky, and we’ve accomplished a lot this season and are glad to keep playing.”
On Nov. 19, the Wildcats traveled to Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho, to face the 2–9 Bengals.
Weber State put the first points on the board when senior running-back Haini Moimoi rushed for one yard into the end zone.
Idaho State answered with seven, putting the pressure on WSU.
With 2:43 left in the first, sophomore Treshawn Garrett rushed for a two-yard touchdown, putting Weber State back up 14–7.
The Bengals were breathing down the Wildcats’ necks as they tied the game up yet again.
Idaho State took their first lead in the game with 4:26 left in the second quarter on the first play of the drive, as quarterback Tanner Gueller threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Gueller, taking the lead 21–17.
After halftime, the Wildcats knew what was at stake and knew what they needed to do. The Wildcats saw the end zone at 5:44 in the third as senior quarterback Jadrian Clark threw a 46-yard pass to junior tight end Andrew Vollert, putting WSU back up 24–21.
Weber State increased their lead as Clark found junior Drew Batchelor with a 48-yard pass with 14:54 left in the game. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hintze put up three points, increasing Weber State’s lead to 34–21.
Idaho State scored with 4:23 left in the game, narrowing the Wildcats’ lead. The Wildcats got the ball back and successfully converted on third downs, ending the game with a 34–28 win over ISU.
The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 7–4 overall record and a 6–2 in Big Sky Conference play.
Weber State will enter the playoffs as one of four teams from the Big Sky Conference, along with Eastern Washington University, University of North Dakota and California Polytechnic State University.
The Wildcats were ranked No. 25 by the FCS STATS poll. This is the first time the Wildcats have been ranked nationally since 2010.
This will be the first ever meeting between Weber State and Chattanooga.
The game will begin at Finley Stadium on Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. EST (noon MST) and will be televised on ESPN3.
The victor will then face the No. 5 seed Sam Houston State University on Dec. 3 in the second round.