By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
The Montana Grizzly football team has made a habit of beating the MSU Bobcats in Bozeman. Since 1980 the Griz have won 13 of 17 over the Cats on MSU’s home turf. Over that span the four Bobcat wins at home were four times when Mike Kramer was part of the Bobcat coaching staff–twice as an assistant in the 1980’s and then twice while he was head coach from 2000-2006. The last Bobcat win at home also happened to be Travis Lulay’s last game as a Bobcat, a 16-6 win 2005.
In October of 1975 a fired up Bobcat defense smothered the Montana offense on the way to a 20-3 MSU win. That was the last time the Grizzlies went without a touchdown against the Bobcats. Over the last 4 decades there have been 5 occasions when MSU didn’t cross the goal line.
The setting for this year’s Griz-Cat game is similar to 2012 went the Bobcats came to Missoula intent on improving their play-off seeding, while Montana was trying to avoid their first losing season in 27 years. The Bobcats prevailed 3 years ago and went on to reached the FCS quarterfinals after a 16-7 win in Missoula.
Here is a stat that might serve as a warning to the Bobcats. Montana is 4th in the Big Sky in rushing yards per game. Against the other 4 teams among the rushing leaders UM is just 1-2 beating NAU but losing to Cal Poly and Portland state.
Bobcat quarterback Dakota Prukop has a long time favorite receiver to call on with the MSU recieving corps as Austin, Texas star Brandon Brown has proven to be a reliable receiver.
Over the last decade the Griz and Bobcats have combined to win over 15 games a season. This year likely will be the first time since 1999 that the teams have combined for 12 wins or less. In both 2008 and 2011 the Griz and cats totaled 21 wins together.
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.