By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
Over the years the home opener for a rookie Griz head coach has been challenging as three of the last 6 UM head coaches have lost their home debut. Don Read, Joe Glenn and Bobby Huack lost their first games in Missoula but combined to win 204 games with the Griz. Overall five of the last 7 Griz head coaches have begun with a win.
The August 29th opener matches the earliest start in Griz history since the 2002 team began their season with a shutout road win over Hofstra on August 29th. The Bison of NDSU began their 2011 season on August 28th with a win over Lafayette.
The Griz have won 23 of their last 27 season opening games. The only FCS school to beat the Griz in a season opener was Hofstra in 1987. The Bison of NDSU have won their last 5 season openers, with wins over Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa state and Minnesota over that span. Iowas state was the last team to defeat the Bison in a season opener back in 2009.
North Dakota state hasn’t lost a game before October 1st since 2008 when thy lost September games to Wyoming and Youngstown State.
The Grizzlies have two bye weeks this season due to the Saturday early regular season opener. Montana does not play the weekend of September 12, nor October 24. Oddly enough the MSU Bobcats take the week of September off also.
Congratulations to UM’s Monte. The fun loving bruin has been nominated for the Mascot Hall Of Fame. Yes, there is a mascot Hall of Fame and it is located in Philadelphia. Hopefully Monte will have more luck in the Hall of Fame voting than a famous “Cub” Sammy Sosa.
Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumed mascot.
Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament
When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.