Photo Gallery: Griz vs. Southern Utah University

By AUSTIN SMITH

Once again Griz Nation was sent home unhappy after the Montana Grizzlies lost Saturday afternoon to the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, 30-20.

After making a fourth quarter field goal to tie the game at 20-20, the Grizzlies watched victory slip from their grasp as a Thunderbird trick punt allowed Brock Miller to tack on a 22-yard first down run.  Jordan Tripp and his hard-hitting Grizzly defense prevented a touchdown but allowed the 23-20 field goal with 2:12 left in the game.

Shortly thereafter the Griz went three and out, and Southern Utah sealed the deal with a 34-yard touchdown run by senior back Myles Crawford-Harris.

Montana started the game out well, trading punts with SUU and even scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 5-yard pass to tight end Clay Pierson.  Utah’s subsequent drive was gutted by two back-to-back sacks in the Montana red-zone, but a muffed punt return gave the ‘Birds possession on the Grizzly 7-yard line and set up a touchdown pass to Utah’s Fatu Moala.

Several blocked field goals and a 2-yard keeper by McKinney brought the hometown team up 17-13 at halftime.  Both teams traded punts to open the third, but with a little under six minutes left the Thunderbirds scored on the coattails of several untimely Grizzly penalties to go ahead 20-17.

Despite a tough defensive squad and McKinney’s multi-faceted attack, Southern Utah’s special teams unit won the day with two blocked field goals and a critical muffed punt recovery.  Despite constant pressure and multiple sacks, SUU’s senior quarterback Brad Sorensen maintained his composure and logged 294 yards for two touchdowns on the day.

The Grizzlies will be away next week in North Dakota, but will return to Washington-Grizzly Saturday, October 27th to take on Idaho State in their last home game before the Griz/Cat showdown.

 

Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Washington-Grizzly S...
Monte and Lil' Mo toss mini footballs to the 25,684 fans in attendance at Saturday's game.  The Southern Utah Thunderbirds handed the Griz their fourth loss of the season, 30-20.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th.
Monte and Lil' ...
Lil Mo hops off his hog during pre-game festivities wearing a Team Up Montana jersey.  Team Up Montana hosted Saturday's 'PINK Game' in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Lil Mo hops off his ...
Three of four Montana Grizzly captains await the coin toss before Saturday's matchup against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.  From left to right: senior running backs Caleb Walden and Peter Nguyen, and senior wide receiver Sam Gratton.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Three of four Montan...
Grizzly quarterback Trent McKinney stays warm on the sidelines during Saturday's 30-20 loss at the hands of the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.

Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Grizzly quarterback ...
Montana running back Jordan Canada looks upfield after burning Southern Utah's Wade Heston (24) and James Cowser (53).  Canada had 71 of his team's 172 rushing yards on 11 total carries.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Montana running back...
Redshirt freshman quarterback Trent McKinney cuts through the line, pursued and ultimately tackled by Southern Utah's Brad Meyer (96).  McKinney was an all-around threat Saturday and even ran in a 2-yard touchdown as the first half wound to a close.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Redshirt freshman qu...
Montana redshirt freshman quarterback Trent McKinney on one of his many trips through the line Saturday afternoon.  McKinney finished with 194 passing yards and 1 touchdown.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Montana redshirt fre...
Standout Montana Grizzly running back Peter Nguyen makes a cut during one of his 15 carries during Saturday's game.

Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Standout Montana Gri...
Standout running back Peter Nguyen breaks off a big gainer thanks to a fierce block from Montana guard William Poehls.  Nguyen and Canada traded running back duties throughout Saturday's contest against Souther Utah, but Nguyen boasted 91 of their combined 172 yards.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Standout running bac...
Montana quarterback Trent McKinney (11) cocks back to fire a pass as running back Jordan Canada (26) preps to throw a block on Southern Utah linebacker Namari Flentroy.  McKinney logged 174 yards and one touchdown during Saturday's 30-20 loss at the hands of the Thunderbirds.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Montana quarterback ...
Junior Grizzly tight end Clay Pierson is congratulated by senior tight end Greg Hardy for scoring the go-ahead touchdown late in the first quarter.  The touchdown came on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Trent McKinney to cap off an impressive 67-yard drive.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th, 2012.
Junior Grizzly tight...
Defensive enforcers Jordan Tripp (37) and Caleb Kidder (44) let out a roar after a clutch sack.  The Griz had just scored their frst touchdown of Saturday's game, and Kidder's third down sack forced the Thunderbirds into punt formation.Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., October 13th.
Defensive enforcers ...

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Austin Smith in a tie

Austin Smith is a 21-year resident of the Missoula area, and an ardent fisherman, hunter, and snowboarder. When not working on the University of Montana campus, taking classes in the Journalism program, or contributing to the social media efforts of several local organizations, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his Akita and his family.