Montana’s Sneed wins Big Sky award for third straight week
By Montana Sports Information
Dalton Sneed a man on a mission.
After a career-high day where he led Montana to a comeback 59-20 demolition over an upset-minded Idaho State in UM’s 100th Homecoming game, Sneed has been named the ROOT Sports Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week for the third straight week.
The last Big Sky quarterback to earn three straight awards was Eastern Washington’s Gage Gubrud in 2017.
With Montana trailing ISU 17-0 early in the second quarter, Sneed put the Grizzlies on his back and proceeded to pass for 397 yards and rush for 67 more while adding a pair of passing and a pair of rushing touchdowns to his total to set a new personal best with 464 yards of total offense.
The senior QB’s total offense blitz was the most of any player in the Big Sky Conference last week and the second-most of any player in the league so far this season. He also helped set a new school record, leading the Griz to 35 first downs. The previous school record was 34, set in 2012 against South Dakota.
Sneed now becomes the first Grizzly to ever win three consecutive Big Sky Player of the Week honors and is the first player to earn three weekly honors from the league since Dante Olson did it in 2018. Sneed is also the first UM quarterback to win three weekly honors in a single season since John Edwards in 2002.
With just 39 passing yards in the first quarter and his team trailing 17-0 early in the second, Sneed turned the game around for the Griz, helping outscore ISU 59-3 to finish the game. He responded to the early deficit by throwing for 358 yards over the course of the next three quarters, completing 21 of his last 28 passes (.750), including a pair of TDs and 12 first downs.
In the last three games, Sneed has thrown for a total of 999 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 169 yards and two TDs to bring his total offensive output 1,168 yards and thirteen scores. In that three-game span, he’s also completed nearly 70 percent of his passes.
With 4,602 career passing yards, Sneed has now passed Andrew Selle on UM’s all-time passing leaders list at No. 12.
Weber State defensive end George Tarlas earned ROOT SPORTS Defensive Player of the Week accolades, while Northern Arizona kicker Luis Aguilar was named the ROOT SPORTS Special Teams honoree.
Tarlas had a busy day on defense. He registered six total tackles – five of them solo. He added to his write-up 2.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks for a loss of 15 yards, two forced fumbles, and two pass breakups in Weber State’s 41-35 win over Idaho. Both of Tarlas’ sacks on Idaho’s quarterback resulted in fumbles, which were recovered by the Wildcats.
Aguilar nailed a career-long 57-yard field goal in Northern Arizona’s win over Northern Colorado to earn his second weekly honor this season. The 57-yarder matched the longest by any kicker in the FCS or FBS this season and was the longest in NAU history dating back to 2000. Aguilar also drilled a 31-yard field goal to remain a perfect 10-for-10 on field goals under 50 yards. He made all five extra-point attempts and is now a perfect 27-of-27 on the year. He averaged 65.0 yards on seven kickoffs – all of which went for touchbacks and added one punt for 43 yards in win over the Bears on Saturday.
Other Nominees: Offense: Jayson Williams, EWU; Jake Maier, UCD; Case Cookus, NAU; Jalen Hamler, CP; Kris Jackson, WSU; Alexander Davis, PSU; Cutrell Haywood, UI; Ty Flanagan, ISU; Chris Helbig, SUU; Travis Jonsen, MSU; Noah Sarria, UNC.
Defense: Dylan Ledbetter, EWU; Eric Flowers, UCD; Brooklyn Hardiman, NAU; Kitu Humphrey, CP; George Obinna, SAC; Anthony Adams, PSU; Charles Akanno, UI; Darian Green, ISU; Alex Sims, SUU; Callahan O’Reilly, MSU; Dante Olson, UM.
Special Teams: Joe Lang, EWU; Daniel Whelan, UCD; Nick Romano, UI; Doug Lloyd, WSU; Jahque Alleyne; MSU; Malik Flowers, UM; Davis Koetter, PSU.