Game #11: Montana at S. Utah

By DAVE GUFFEY for GoGriz.com

THE GAME: The #15/#16-University of Montana Grizzlies (4-2 BSC/6-4) conclude a two-game road trip, playing the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (2-4 BSC/2-8) in a must-win Big Sky Conference game for them on Saturday, Nov. 15.  Kickoff in Eccles Coliseum (8,500) in Cedar City, Utah, is at 1:07 p.m. (Mountain).

SERIES/LAST MEETING: The Griz lead 4-2.  This is the first time that the Griz have played in Cedar City.  The T-Birds won the last meeting, 30-20, in Missoula in 2012.

GRIZ LAST GAME: (At EWU 36, Griz 26): The #11-ranked Grizzlies battled back from a 23-point deficit (33-10), but fell short, losing to the host and 5th-ranked Eagles in a pivotal Big Sky game.  The Eagles were led by junior quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who passed for 399 yards and 4 touchdowns.   Adams, who started against Montana, had missed EWU’s last four games due to a foot injury.

DE Zack Wagenmann (Photo by Todd Goodrich, UM)

DE Zack Wagenmann (Photo by Todd Goodrich,UM)

GRIZ POW NOMINEES VS.  EWU: Offense: Senior quarterback Jordan Johnson, who  had career-highs of 29-of-52-2 for 447 yards passing, and 3 TDs throws.  Defense: Junior linebacker Herbert Gamoba: 10 tackles and 3 sacks.  Special Teams: Junior kicker Daniel Sullivan: field goals of 24 and 40 yards, and 3×3 in PATs.

LAST MEETING: S. Utah 30, at Montana 20 (2012): Quarterback Brad Sorenson was 30-of-53-0 passing for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns, while wide receiver Fatu Moala had game-highs of 11 catches for 104 yards, and a TD.  SUU outscored Montana 17-3 in the second half to overcome a four-point (17-13) halftime deficit.  With the win the T-Birds improved to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in Big Sky  play, while UM went to 3-4/1-3.

BUCHANAN WATCH LIST UPDATE: Zack Wagenmann, a 6-3 ½, 255-pound senior defensive end and a Buck Buchanan Award candidate from Missoula, Mont., has 57 total tackles, 11.5 sacks, and 16.5 TFLs this season.  He leads the Big Sky and is ranked fifth in the FCS in sacks (1.15 pg) and is ranked 18th in TFLs (1.7 pg).

QB Jordan Johnson, Montana (Photo by Todd Goodrich, UM)

QB Jordan Johnson, Montana (Photo by Todd Goodrich,UM)

PAYTON WATCH LIST UPDATE: Johnson, a 6-1, 195-pound senior from Eugene, Ore., who was on the initial Walter Payton Award list, is 152-of-267-4  for 1,911 yards passing and 15 TD throws, and has rushed for two scores this season.

SO UTAHWAGENMANN NEAR GRIZ SACKS/TFLs RECORD: Wagenmann has 31.5 career sacks, and needs just one more to go by Kroy Biermann (32 sacks, 2004-07) for second and 1.5 more to pass Tim Bush (32.5, 2000-03) and become UM’s all-time leader.  Wagenmann is ranked second in school history with 46 tackles for loss, and needs three more to pass Bush (48.5, 2003-06) forfirst.

HERMANSON MOVES UP ON LIST: Free safety Matt Hermanson, a senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., has moved up to sixth in school history with 318 career tackles

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MEDIA COVERAGE:

GRIZ RADIO: Mick Holien has been the voice of Grizzly football the past 22-plus seasons and is in his 30th year overall.  Scott Gurnsey is in his 17th year as analyst, and Greg Sundberg  is on the sidelines for his fourth season.  (Radio Network on add 6 of weekly release).

TELEVISION/STREAMING: The Griz-T-bird game will be televised on most Cowles Montana Media stations.  Chris Byers calls the play-by-play, Dave Guffey is the analyst, and Shaun Rainey covers the sidelines.  It is available on Charter channels 10/510; DirecTV channel 24, and Dish Network channel 17.  The game will be streamed on gogriz.com/allaccess.