Griz Begin Big Sky Slate at NAU Saturday, Sept 28


THE GAME: The 7th-ranked (The Sports Network  & FCS Coaches’ polls) University of Montana Grizzlies (3-0/0-0 Big Sky Conference) open their league season, playing the 24th/22nd-ranked Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (2-1/0-0) Saturday, Sept. 28, in NAU’s Walkup Skydome (10,000), with kick-off slated for 7:10 p.m. (Mountain).


LONG RIVALRY: This will be the 46th meeting between the Griz and Lumberjacks, in a series which began in 1966.  NAU joined the Big Sky in 1970, while UM is an inaugural (1963) member of the conference.  The Jacks’ last win (24-17) over the Griz in Flagstaff was in 1987.

LAST GAME: (At Montana 47, Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies 14): The Grizzlies scored on six of their first seven possessions and true freshman halfback John Nguyen rushed for 144 yards, as UM cruised to the victory over the out-manned Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies.

Sports Network Poll for week of 9/23

The Sports Network Top-25 Rankings

NATIONAL LEADERS: Montana leads the FCS in attendance, averaging 26,054 in two games so far this season.  The Griz had a record 26,293 in their opener against Appalachian State, while 25,814 were in Washington-Grizzly Stadium last Saturday.

GRIZ POW NOMINEES: Offense: Nguyen had 22 carries for a 144 yards (a 6.6 average).  Defense: Sophomore linebacker Addison Owen had 5 tackles, returned an interception 21 yards, and recovered a fumble.  Special Teams: Kicker Ben Worst made 3-of-3 field goal attempts, hitting from 50, 41, and 41 yards out, and was 2-of-2 on PATs, and he had two touchbacks on five kickoffs. His 50-yard field goal tied for sixth longest in school history.

LEAGUE POW HONORS: Worst, a true freshman from Twin Falls, Idaho, was named the Big Sky’s “Special Teams Player of the Week.”

SCOUTING THE JACKS: NAU has one of the top running backs in Big Sky history in 5-10, 200-pound senior Zach Bauman. So far this season he has 61 carries for 278 yards and a TD, and leads the Jacks with 12 receptions.  Quarterback Kyren Poe (6-3, 190, So., 1V) is 53-of-94-4 for 455 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The Jacks have a veteran defense with eight senior starters, led by linebacker Austin Hasquet (6-1, 225, Jr., 2V) with 18 tackles, and safety Luck Dozier (5-10, 185, Sr., 1V) and end Steven Garcia (6-2, 235,, Sr., 1V), with 16 stops each.   NAU Scores to date (2-1): At Arizona 35, NAU 0; NAU 21, at UC Davis 10; at NAU 22, South Dakota 16.  NAU Next week: at Montana State.

GRIZ CONNECTIONS: NAU’s head man is Jerome Souers, 86-86 in his 16th season, and an assistant coach at Montana for 12 seasons from 1986-97.   Defensive coordinator Andy Thompson played linebacker for the Griz from 1999-2001-03, while NAU safeties/special teams coach David Reeves played at UM from 1984-87.

THE SERIES: The Grizzlies had won 14 in a row until the Lumberjacks won 41-31 at UM last season.  The Griz had won 19 Homecoming games in  a row until their loss to the Jacks in 2012. Montana has won 23 of the last 25.  (UM-NAU year-by-year scores and 2012 game stats and game story on adds 12 & 13).


GRIZ RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien is now in his 21st season as the “Voice of the Grizzlies.”   Former Griz (1991-94) wide receiver Scott Gurnsey provides in-booth color, while Greg Sundberg serves as the sideline reporter.  UM’s flagship station is KGVO Radio, 1290 AM/KVWE 101.5 FM.  (Grizzly Football Radio Network listed on add 1-1-1 of the weekly release).



TWITTER: @umgrizzlies_fb & umgrizzlies_sid.

TV: The UM-NAU game will be televised by ROOT SPORTS.  Tom Glasgow calls the play-by-play, Jason Stiles is the in-booth analyst, and Jen Mueller serves as the sideline reporter.

ROOT TV INFORMATION: The game will air on ROOT SPORTS Northwest Dish 426 and DirecTV 687 and Direct TV’s Audience Network 101. Also on Dish Network Blockbuster Channel 102.   NOTE: The game will not be aired on ROOT Rocky Mountain due to a Dodgers-Rockies baseball game.  DirecTV customers can stream the game to smartphones or tablets through DirecTV’s Watch Anywhere App., DirecTV’s Audience Network Channel 101.