Griz Football Team Finalizes 2016 Schedule


Two FCS teams from east of the Mississippi will travel to Missoula in 2016, as the Montana Grizzlies have finalized next season’s football schedule with the addition of Mississippi Valley State on October 8, at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The finalized schedule gives the Grizzlies three home games in a row during the month of October, and six home games on the 11 game slate, all against Division I institutions.

Mississippi Valley State is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), comprised of historically black universities. The SWAC has not competed in the FCS playoffs since 1997, instead choosing to hold it’s own championship in December.  The 2015 SWAC championship was held at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, and drew a crowd of over 40,000.

Notable MVSU alumni include NFL legend Jerry Rice and Deacon Jones, who is said to have revolutionized the defensive end position, and, according to CNN, is credited with coining the phrase “sacking the quarterback”, something the Grizzlies know a thing or two about.


Along with MVSU, the Saint Francis Red Flash, who finished in second place in the Northeast Conference last season, will travel to Missoula from Western Pennsylvania. Duquesne won the Northeast Conference in 2015, and lost to William & Mary 52-49 in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

“This is a quality schedule and I am pleased it features a full Division I slate of games. I am excited the non-conference games brings two opponents to Missoula that have never competed in Washington-Grizzly Stadium and gives our fans a chance to see teams from other parts of the country,” said Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam.

“It is becoming more and more difficult to build a football schedule, and I appreciate all the hard work of Ryan Martin, associate athletic director for business, for helping put these together year after year.”

The Grizzlies’ Big Sky Conference home schedule features league champion Southern Utah on Homecoming weekend, October 1, followed by MVSU on October 8, then Sacramento State on October 15.

Idaho State will get a chance at redemption on the Grizzlies after UM’s improbable 2015 overtime win in Pocatello. The Bengals travel to Missoula on November 5, and will face the Grizzlies on Military Appreciation Day at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The 116th edition of the Brawl of the Wild rounds out the Grizzlies’ home schedule on November 19, as Montana State crosses the divide to compete for the Great Divide Trophy.

Montana’s 2016 away schedule is shaping up to be one of the most difficult in program history.

The Griz will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, on September 10 for the first leg of a home-and-home series with Northern Iowa, who fell to eventual champion North Dakota State 23-13 in the third round of the 2015 FCS Playoffs.

Montana then heads to San Louis Obispo on September 24 to face the Cal Poly Mustangs, benefiting from a bye the week previous.

In October, the Griz hit the road for two weeks straight, visiting perennial Big Sky powerhouses Northern Arizona and Eastern Washington on October 22 and 29, respectively.

Kickoff times for each game are contingent on the broadcast schedule, and will be announced at a later date.

LOOKING AHEAD: Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam has also agreed to a home-and-home series with Missouri State University in 2020 and 2021. Missouri State competes in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The series kicks off September 12, 2020 when the Griz travel to Springfield, Missouri to take on the Bears, and culminates on September 18, 2021 when MSU makes the trip to Missoula.

The home game against MSU puts two nonconference games on the 2021 schedule, the other against Washington on September 4, in Seattle.