UM Sports Trivia | Week of Nov 10

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Saturday will be the debut of Travis Decuire’s Montana Grizzly basketball team. Decuire would like to duplicate the coaching debut of his long-time mentor Blaine Taylor. Back in 1991 Taylor’s first game as Griz head coach saw Montana hand the Oregon Ducks their worst loss in 45 years with a 77-38 beat down.  That game also happened be Decuire’s Griz debut.

For the fourth time in 7 seasons the Griz venture to Fort Collins having lost all three recent visits to the home of the Rams. Forty years ago this month, the Griz opened their 1974-75 season facing CSU in Fort Collins and upset the Rams 53-48. That season the Griz went on to make their first trip to the NCAA tournament.

Former UM Athletic Director Bill Moos will be rooting for the Griz especially strongly in their November 18 game at Boise. Last spring Moos flew from Pullman to Boise to sign Leon Rice as the new Washington State coach only to land and find out Rice had already signed a fat contract to stay in Boise.

Griz FlagForty years ago Saturday, Mick Delaney led the Great Falls Bison to a win over the Butte Bulldogs to cap an 11-0 campaign and the AA title. Saturday he would like another road win–this time in Cedar City Utah. The Griz will have extra incentive to beat the Southern Utah Thunderbirds as their last meeting was a 30-20 SUU win in Missoula in2012.

The visit to Cedar City marks the first time in 47 years that the Grizzlies have played a football game in Utah that didn’t involve Weber State. On Veterans Day 1967, the Griz lost 20-14 to Utah state in Logan.

Southern Utah has an excellent passing game coached by one of the true innovators in the passing gam–Gary Crowton. Crowton is the Thunderbirds offensive coordinator but with stints at Oregon and BYU he crafted pass-happy offenses.

Mike Kramer has done what few expected and landed Idaho State in the midst of the Big Sky race in November. Ironically the Bengals’ only Big Sky loss was to Eastern Washington where Kramer had spent 6 seasons as head coach. Now to stay in the race Kramer must beat his former employer Montana State. This isn’t Kramer first job coaching a Bengal–as he spent three seasons as head coach of the Helena High Bengals from 1980-82.

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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.