Make that 70-36-5 Grizzlies. In the 111th meeting between these two schools in "The Brawl of the Wild", No. 7 Montana rolled No. 1 Montana State 36-10 on Saturday in Bozeman. Montana’s overall great play kept the Bobcats in check throughout the entire game.
With the win, Montana clinched the Big Sky Conference automatic bid into the FCS Playoffs and a share of the Conference title. Despite the loss, Montana State should still be in contention for a first round home playoff game.
How about those Montana running backs? The Grizzlies rushed for an impressive 309 yards today, as Peter Nguyen and Dan Moore were giving the Bobcats fits all day. Peter Nguyen had 19 carries for 123 yards, and Dan Moore had 15 carries for 116 yards. Another outstanding stat for the Grizzly offense today? Zero turnovers.
I was really impressed by Nguyen’s open field running ability, and Moore running over Bobcat defenders consistently. If these two keep on playing like this, the Grizzlies should have a great chance to make it to the FCS National Championship game for the eighth time in school history.
Montana’s defense simply played great today. For the Bobcats, the only player who shined was Elvis Akpla, who had six receptions for 113 yards. However, the Grizzlies held every other receiver in check, and held star Montana State quarterback Denarius McGee to only 16 completions out of 33 attempts.
Even more impressive though was Monana’s run defense, holding the Bobcats to only 79 yards rushing. The defense was led by Grizzly linebackers Caleb McSurdy and John Kanonagta’a who each had eight tackles.
Like he has been all season, Brody McKnight was solid for the Grizzlies today. McKnight was 2-for-2 on field goals, and 4-for-4 on extra points. What was even more impressive about McKnight today was his punting. McKnight took six punts for the grizzlies, averaging 42.5 yards per punt.
While these stats may not seem overly impressive, McKnight put two punts inside the 10 yard line with one of those being followed up by two points for the Grizzlies. Putting the Bobcats in bad starting field position and getting points when the opportunity was given truly made McKnight a special player today.