UM Sports Trivia | Week of Oct 13

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Saturday, October 18, marks the 28th anniversary of the opening of Washington Grizzly Stadium before a crowd of some 8,000 as the Griz beat Idaho State 38-31. In the previous 28 years Montana football had produced 115 victories, in the past 28 seasons Montana has won 279 games. The opening of WGS was voted in as the most important event of the first 50 years of the Big Sky Conference in a recent poll.

This Saturday the Aggies of Cal Davis come to Missoula for their first ever conference visit to Missoula. The Griz have won all four modern meetings with the Aggies. Looking at the offensive stats Davis and Montana are remarkably similar; it is on defense that the Griz have a significant advantage. The Montana Defense has averaged just over 16 points per game surrendered while the Aggies have coughed up 41 per game.  On average the Aggies allowing 520 yards per game while Montana gives up 322.  The 77 points Montana State hung on the Aggies is the most a Big Sky school has ever given up the week before playing the Griz.

Griz FlagOver the past 25 years the Griz are 18-2 coming off a bye week (between 1986 and 2003 winning 14 straight post-bye week games. In 2012 the bye week didn’t help the Griz as they lost 16-7 coming off a bye week to the MSUBobcats.

In the late fall of 2006 the University of Michigan football program lost two of its most respected icons with the passing of former coach Bo Schembechler and former President Gerald Ford, a former Wolverine star player. Since the death of Schembechler and Ford, Michigan has won 53 games while their archrivals at Ohio State have won 78 over the same time span.

This Saturday’s Grizzly football game will show a strong show of support for the fight against all forms of cancer but especially breast cancer. For many seasons Elizabeth “Betsy” Cohen wrote colorful and insightful side stories surrounding Grizzly football games which added greatly to the Missoulian coverage of the games. In 2004 Betsy wrote a series of articles about financial irregularities in UM Athletics that led to a shake-up in Griz sports and earned her consideration for a Pulitzer Prize. Despite her expose on UM, Cohen had such credibility that she remained on good terms with UM officials.  Sadly Betsy Cohen lost her battle with breast cancer last spring.

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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.