Griz Host Weber State on “Senior Day” Nov. 16


THE GAME: The 7th-ranked (Sports Network poll) Montana Grizzlies (8-2/4-2 Big Sky Conference) host the Weber State Wildcats (1-9/0-6 BSC), Saturday, Nov. 16 on “Senior Day” in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.  Kickoff is at 12:07 p.m.  (Mtn).

SENIORS: UM’s 13 seniors who will be recognized prior to the Griz-Wildcat game are: DT Alex Bienemann; LB Brock Coyle; CB Anthony “Chief” Goodwin; LB J.P. Kanongata’a; OT Danny Kistler Jr.; RB Marlon Miles; OC Kjelby Oiland; TE Clay Pierson; OG William Poehls; FS Steven Rominger;  LB Jordan Tripp; SS Bo Tully; WR Cam Warren.

LAST GAME: Montana 31, at South Dakota 27: Ellis Henderson scored on a 98-yard kickoff return with 1:36 left in the game to give the Grizzlies another come-from behind victory.

STAT LEADERS AT USD: Henderson had 4 catches for a career-high 188 yards and 2 TDs and 315 all-purpose yards. Griz quarterback Jordan Johnson was 17-of-33-3 passing for 337 yards and 2 TDs, and he’d thrown just one pick in UM’s previous nine games.

DEFENSE MAKES BIG STOPS: The Griz “D” once again made key plays late in the game and they held USD to just a fourth-quarter field goal in the second half.  Matt Hermanson led UM with a game-high 11 tackles, returned a fumble for a 35-yard TD, and also forced a fumble.  Jordan Tripp had 9 tackles, and had the big forced fumble that led to Hermanson’s touchdown.

THIRD LONGEST KICKOFF RETURN: Henderson’s 98-yard kickoff return tied him for the third longest in UM history with Marc Mariani who had a 98-yarder vs. South Dakota State in 2009.

RECENT COMEBACK SAGA: Montana has now won three of its last four games in dramatic, last-second touchdowns. At Sacramento State (Nov. 2), the Griz won 51-48 in overtime.  Against Cal Poly UM scored on a 4th-and-2 from two yards out to tie the contest 14-14 with 12 seconds to go putting the game in overtime, and won 21-14.

ELLIS HONORED: Henderson, a sophomore from Portland, Ore. was named the Big Sky’s special team’s “Player of the Week,” while Hermanson, a junior free safety from Sioux Falls, S.D.,  shared the award on defense with Southern Utah cornerback LeShawn Sims.

WINNING WAYS: Montana’s win at Sacramento State on Nov. 2 gave the Grizzlies their 27th winning season in the past 28 years (starting in 1986).

WSU SCORES TO DATE: at WSU 50, Stephen F. Austin 40; at Utah 70, WSU 7; at Utah State 70, WSU 6; at #13-McNeese State 43, WSU 6; Sac State 31, at WSU 3; at #6-E. Washington 41, WSU 19; at Cal Poly 47, WSU 0; #5-Montana State 34, at WSU 16; at Portland St. 45, WSU 24; S. Utah 27, at WSU 21.

LAST MEETING: (11/3/12: Griz 24, at WSU 21): UM scored twice in the fourth quarter and held off WSU for the win.  The Griz took their third and final lead of the game on a 9-yard TD pass from QB Shay Smithwick-Hann to wide receiver Bryce Carver with 6:37 left to play.

SERIES: Montana leads 39-13 and has won 13 of the last 15. The last Wildcats’ win in Missoula was 29-26 in 1987, and  WSU has lost 13 games in a row in Missoula.

OF NOTE: Former Griz head coach (2010-11) and assistant coach (1986-94 and 2009) Robin Pflugrad is the offensive coordinator/running backs coach at WSU.


GRIZ RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien is in his 21st season calling the play-by-play and the “Voice of the Grizzlies.”   Scott Gurnsey  provides in-booth color, while Greg Sundberg  serves as the sideline reporter.  UM’s flagship station is KGVO 1290 AM & 101.5 FM.  (Griz FB Radio Network listed on add 6-6-6 of the weekly release).



TWITTER: @umgrizzlies_fb & umgrizzlies_sid.

TV: The Griz-Wildcat game will be televised by Max Media of Montana.  Chris Byers calls the play-by-play, John Edwards provides in-booth color, and Shaun Rainey serves as the sideline reporter.  The game 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.