Montana Hosts Coastal Carolina in 2nd-Round FCS Game Dec 7


THE GAME: The 4th/5th-ranked (Sports Network & FCS Coaches polls) University of Montana Grizzlies (10-2) host the 11th-ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (11-2), Saturday, Dec. 7 in a second-round  2013 NCAA Division I FCS game in Washington-Grizzly Stadium (25,217).  Kickoff is at 12:05 p.m.  (Mountain Time).

PLAYOFF VETS: Montana is “officially” making its 21st appearance in the FCS/Division I-AA playoffs — the most in division history.  The Griz are 30-18 in tournament games.  Montana’s 30 playoff wins are the second most by any team (45, Georgia Southern).  UM had a record 17 playoff berths in a row (1993-2009).  (See add 13-13-13 for Montana’s playoff scores/results).

LAST GAME: (Montana 28, at Montana State 14):  The 5th-ranked Griz played stellar  defense to defeat the host and 13th-ranked Montana State Bobcats in a Big Sky contest in the 113th meeting of one of the nation’s longest rivalry games on Nov. 23.


Bundle Up! Expected High at the game is zero with wind-chill playing a factor. Photo by Patrick Record.

GRIZ “D” SHINES: Montana’s defense held MSU’s offense to just one touchdown, and 277 total yards, and sacked MSU quarterback DeNarius McGhee four times.  Griz senior linebacker Brock Coyle had a game-high 14 tackles, along with two stops for loss, a couple of forced fumbles, and a sack, and was named the league’s “Player of the Week” on defense.

JOHNSON AND JONES EXCEL: In the final three quarters junior quarterback Jordan Johnson completed 20-of-29-0 passes for 253 yards and a TD. Sophomore wide receiver Jamaal Jones had game-highs of 7 catches for 120 yards.

CANADA IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Junior halfback Jordan Canada’s  16 TD runs this season tie him for the fifth most in a season, while his 958 rushing yards rank him 14th.   He needs 42 yards to become the 11th Griz player to rush for 1,000 yards.  (See add 1-1-1).


Photo by Patrick Record

GRIZ HAVE FOUR FIRST TEAM ALL-LEAGUERS: Montana had four teams named first team all-conference: senior offensive tackle Danny Kistler Jr., senior linebackers John (J.P.) Kanongata’a and Jordan Tripp, and junior defensive end Zack Wagenmann.  Kistler, Tripp, and Wagenmann were first team picks last season.  (See add 26-26-26 for UM’s all-league picks).

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

BIG SKY HAS RECORD FOUR TEAMS IN PLAYOFFS: For the first time, four Big Sky teams were selected to play in the 24-team FCS playoffs.  Eastern Washington got the league’s automatic bid, while the Griz, Northern Arizona and Southern Utah earned at-large bids.


Photo by Austin Smith

SERIES: This is the first meeting between the teams in football.  The Griz played the Chanticleers in men’s basketball in the 1991-92 season in Missoula, UM winning 74-52.

CCU LEADERS:  CCU senior halfback Lorenzo Taliaferro (6-2, 230), has rushed for 1,572 yards and 24 TDs (the third most in the FCS), is a Walter  Payton candidate, and was chosen the Big South MVP on offense.  Sophomore QB Alex Ross (6-1, 200) is 203-of-311 (65.3%) for 2,796 yards and 22 touchdowns.  Senior receiver Matt Hazel (6-3, 190) has 58 catches for 881 yards and 8 TDs.  Junior linebacker Quinn Backus (5-10, 215) has a team-high 126 tackles, is a Buck Buchanan Award candidate, and named the league’s MVP on defense.  (See add 26-26-26 for more CCU information).

GRIZ VERSUS BIG SOUTH: This is the first time Montana has played a football game against a member of the Big South Conference.  CCU has never played a team from the Big Sky.

GRIZ RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien is in his 21st season calling the play-by-play as 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.

TV/WEB CAST: The UM-CCU game is available on ESPN GamePlan and via the internet on ESPN 3, Trey Bender is calling the play-by-play, and Al Groh is serving as the color analyst.


LIVE STATS:  PASS CODE: ncaamedia.

TWITTER: @umgrizzlies_fb & umgrizzlies_sid.