UM Sports Trivia | Week of Aug 26

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

The Montana Grizzly football team is a tough opening night act. The Griz have won 12 of their last 14 home openers including last season’s win over South Dakota. Since 1998 the only two home openers the Griz have lost have been the home debut of Griz head coaches Joe Glenn in 2000 and Bobby Huack in 2003 (each time by a single point).

The Griz last season won just 5 games in Mick Delaney’s first season as head coach. Over the past 70 years the greatest win improvement for a Griz coach first to second season in charge was Larry Donovan in 1981 whose Griz went from 3-7 the previous season to 7-3 in 81.

The 7:00 PM kick-off is the latest start of a Griz home game in over 60 years. In the first 27 seasons at Washington Grizzly stadium the latest regular start of a game was in 1990 when the Griz and Thomas More kicked off at 4:00 PM; a game the Griz won 62-0.

The Mountaineers of Appalachian State are famous for playing big name opponents on the road to open the season. Six years ago the Mountaineers opened the season against another U of M and pulled off one of the biggest upset in the history of FCS football. The Michigan Wolverines didn’t know what hit them when ASU rallied to beat them to open the 2007 season. That was hardly a weak Michigan team as they capped off that season with a win over Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and Florida in the Capitol One Bowl.

Appalachian State has gotten off to great starts the last few years but has struggled down the stretch. Each of the past 3 seasons the Mountaineers season has ended in a home play-off loss, last December a 1-point loss in overtime to Illinois State in the second round.

One member of the Appalachian State coaching staff has been a part of a win over the Grizzlies at Washington Grizzly stadium. Mountaineers defensive coordinator Nate Woody was head of the Wofford Terriers defense when they upset the Griz in the opening round of the 2007 FCS play-offs.

Now the year long rivalry between the Grizzlies and Bobcats will be commemorated by the “Brawl Of The wild” traveling trophy  awarded to the school that accumulates the most points in an academic year of match-ups with their instate rival. The Phrase “Brawl Of The wild” was coined in 1989 by Griz football beat writer Kim Briggeman.

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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 costumedmascot.

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.