Montana at Sac State in Must-Win BSC Game Nov 2


THE GAME: The 12th-ranked (Sports Network poll) University of Montana Grizzlies (6-2/3-2 Big Sky Conference) continue league play on the road and have a must-win game, facing the Sacramento State Hornets (4-4/3-1) Saturday, Nov. 2, in Hornet Stadium  (21,195), with kickoff at 2:07 p.m.  (Mountain Time).

GRIZ LAST GAME: (EWU 42, at Montana 37): The #10-ranked Grizzlies hoped for another miracle comeback, but fell short in a Big Sky loss to the #3-ranked Eagles.  Montana trailed Eastern 42-17 with 16 seconds left in the third quarter after sophomore quarterback Vernon Adams threw his sixth touchdown pass of the contest.

But in the fourth quarter, Griz quarterback Jordan Johnson and wide receiver Ellis Henderson hooked up on back-to-back scoring passes covering 7 and 48 yards, and Montana cut its deficit to 42-31 with 7:36 left to play.  UM’s third TD in the final stanza was a 6-yard pass from Johnson to tight end Jordan Harper with 1:44 left, and EWU led 42-37. UM’s on-side kick was recovered by the Eagles, and the Griz had no timeouts left, and EWU ran out the clock.


Photo by Austin Smith.

NO COMEBACK THIS TIME: Two weeks ago the Grizzlies blocked a game-clinching field goal late in the game, and then put together a game-tying scoring drive in the last two minutes, followed by a TD on their second play in overtime for a 21-14 home OT victory over Cal Poly.

STAT LEADERS VERSUS EWU: Johnson was 26-of-44-0 for 349 yards and 4 TDs, and rushed for 47 yards against the Eagles.  Henderson had 8 catches for a career-high 147 yards and 3 scores, and racked up with 293 all-purpose yards.   Junior halfback Jordan Canada rushed 12 times for 53 yards and a TD.  Linebacker Brock Coyle had a game-high (tie) 10 tackles.

Offense: Henderson, a sophomore from Portland, Ore.,  was UM’s nominee.  Defense: Coyle, a senior from Bozeman, was the nominee.  Special Teams: The nominee was Henderson, who had 3 punt returns for 68 yards and 4 kickoff returns for 78 yards.

SAC SCORES TO DATE: at San Jose State 24, Sac State 0; at Arizona State 55, Sac State 0; at Sac State 63, S. Oregon 56; Southern Utah 24, at Sac State 21; Sac State 31, at Weber State 3; at Sac State 37, N. Colorado 21; N. Arizona 39, at Sac State 38; Sac State 31, at N. Dakota 7.

LAST MEETING: (Sept. 24, 2011): at Sacramento St. 42, Montana 28: Montana had five turnovers and Sac State senior quarterback Jeff Fleming rushed for two TDs and passed for a pair as well, and the Hornets defeated the Grizzlies for the first time in 17 tries. UM’s Johnson was 9-of-13-3 for 148 yards.  The Hornets rushed 49 times for 238 yards and dominated time of possession (40:43 to 19:17).  (Year-by-year scores on add 22 of this week’s release).

SERIES: The Griz lead the series 16-1.  UM’s sole setback was the last time that the two teams played each other in 2011 in Sacramento.



GRIZ RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien is in his 21st season calling the play-by-play and serving as the “Voice of the Grizzlies.”   Greg Sundberg  provides in-booth color, while Adam Painter  serves as the sideline reporter.  UM’s flagship station is KGVO Radio, 1290 AM/KVWE 101.5 FM.  (Griz FB Radio Network listed on add 10 of the weekly release).


TWITTER: @umgrizzlies_fb & umgrizzlies_sid.


TV: The Griz-Hornet game will be televised by Max Media of Montana.  Chris Byers of KULR-TV calls the play-by-play, former (1988-90) Griz QB Grady Bennett provides in-booth color, and Shaun Rainey of Max Media is the sideline reporter.  It will be aired on KTMF-FOX 23 & 42 in Missoula/Kalispell;  KWYB-FOX 18 & 28 in Butte/ Bozeman; KFBB-FOX 5 in Great Falls; KHBB-FOX 5 in Helena; KULR-NBC 8 in Billings; and KXGN-NBC in Glendive.