Griz Conclude Spring Drills with Scrimmage in Helena Saturday, April 11

By DAVE GUFFEY

First-year University of Montana head football coach Bob Stitt’s Grizzly football team wrap up its 2015 spring drills this Saturday, April 11, in its annual Spring Game in Carroll College’s Nelson Stadium in Helena.

The Grizzlies’ Spring Game will begin at 1:00 p.m., and follows the Saints scrimmage, which begins at 11:00 a.m.  Tickets for the scrimmage are $5 for adults and $3 for children and are on sale now.   The Griz last held their spring game in Helena in 2004.

Stitt, who became the head man at UM this past December after a 15-year stint as the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines, inherited a squad with 15 returning starters and 49 lettermen.  The Griz were 9-5 overall last season and advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Griz Football FeaturedCoach Stitt, who compiled a record of 108-62 at Mines, said he expected to add a few wrinkles to his squad’s third and final scrimmage of springdrills.

“We’ll probably add a few plays,” Stitt said.  “We like to get 100 plays in, and hopefully 50 with the ones and 50 with the twos –  both sides, and then we may throw the threes in the end so that everyone gets on the field.  We’ll have some special teams on Saturday.  We’re not going to do any punt or punt returns, but we’re going to do PAT, field goal, and kickoff returns, and kickoffs.”

He said that he has enjoyed getting to know his players ths spring, and his team continues to improve.

“It’s fun,” he said.  “Every day you’re getting to know everybody better, and everybody’s getting better every single day – and that’s what was fun.  It was rough, especially on the offensive side early in spring ball, and now it’s getting to be fun, and I hope it’s really a competitive scrimmage.

When asked about some of the positives that he can take out of spring drills, coach Stitt lauded the overall play of the defense, as well as the improved play of several positions on offense.

“One of the big pluses has been on defense, and how well we are playing, with both our linebackers and our guys up front, and also how the secondary is coming along,” he said.  “They (the defensive backs) have really shown some great things with coach (Jason) Semore (secondary coach), and some guys we really weren’t counting on much are really playing well.

BBQ“Offensively, I am excited about how the quarterbacks have come along, as far as processing the offense,” Stitt said.  “The offensive line has come a long ways with coach (Chad) Germer (UM’s offensive line coach) since the firstscrimmage.”

Coach Stitt said that one of the main points of emphasis when the Griz return for 2015 fall camp in early August will be depth at quarterback, although 6-7, 235-pound junior signal caller Brady Gustafson has emerged as the top player at that position.

“We just keep moving along with more reps,” Stitt said.  “Brady continues to separate himself from the quarterbacks.  We’ve got to find a definite two and three, who will get reps in fall camp.  I’d like to be able to have a little better idea after Saturday (spring game) on who that two and three quarterback is.”

In addition to the two scrimmages, several events will take place this Saturday. A 10:00 a.m. tailgate party is slated adjacent to Nelson Stadium with food and beverages available for sale and after the Griz portion of the spring game, fans will be able to go onto the field and meet the players and coaches.

Tickets are available at the gate on the day of the scrimmage.

2015-04-10_1751

2015-04-10_1751_001