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#12 Montana @ Sacramento State Game Thread

get'em_griz

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Montana Grizzlies (6-2, 3-2 BSC) at Sacramento State Hornets (4-4, 3-1 BSC)
Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 2pm MT
Hornet Stadium (21,195) - Sacramento, CA

TV: Televised by Max Media on Fox
RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien is in his 21st season calling the play-by-play and serving as the "Voice of the Grizzlies." Greg Sundberg provides in-booth color, while Adam Painter serves as the sideline reporter. UM's flagship station is KGVO Radio, 1290 AM/KVWE 101.5 FM. (Griz FB Radio Network listed on add 10 of the weekly release).

Series: Montana leads 16-1
Last Game: Sacramento State won 42-28 in Sacramento in 2011.

It’s going to take some serious road work for the Montana football team to secure a spot in the FCS playoffs.

It starts Saturday with a well-rested and confident Sacramento State team playing host to the 12th-ranked Grizzlies at 2 p.m. (Mountain). The Hornets, one-half game ahead of UM in the Big Sky Conference standings at 3-1, took last weekend off while the Griz went through an emotional wringer in a narrow loss to third-ranked Eastern Washington.

The last two weekends, in fact, have been emotional wringers for the banged-up Grizzlies (3-2 conference, 6-2 overall). They need to regroup quickly with three of their final four regular-season games on the road and little margin for error in their quest for a postseason berth.

“We don’t have to tell them how urgent it is,” Montana coach Mick Delaney said Tuesday. “If you do, we’re in deep trouble anyway. They understand where it’s at.”

* * * * *

While Delaney doesn’t like to use excuses, Montana’s injury situation is significant.

The absence of senior cornerback Anthony Goodwin (shoulder) was critical last weekend as Eastern went after his replacement. Junior running back Travon Van played with a tender ankle and was largely ineffective.

The loss of reserve running back Joey Counts (ankle) in the second quarter Saturday further complicated Montana’s situation at running back. On top of that, the absence of injured receivers Taylor Walcott and Mitch Saylor had a bearing on Montana’s passing attack.

“I think Chief will be OK,” said Delaney, referring to Goodwin. “I think he’ll be cleared to play. It’s still day-by-day.

“Travon, I told you a week ago he wouldn’t play. He really surprised me and did practice in our modified practice Friday. It’s still swollen, still discolored, still very sore. We’ll just have to see with him. Joey (Counts) is definitely out this week. He’s having an MRI today. It’s messed up pretty good right now.”

Walcott said Tuesday he’s hoping to take the field at Sac State. Defensive backups/special teams stalwarts Kendrick Van Ackeren (LB) and Steven Rominger (S) are questionable after leaving last Saturday’s game with injuries.

* * * * *

One key to Montana’s success moving forward is establishing a running game. Delaney has said since Day One that it’s a priority.

It helps the Griz keep the ball out of the hands of dangerous opposing quarterbacks like Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams, who threw for six touchdowns in a 42-37 win over Montana. Plus an effective run game helps set up Montana’s play-action passing.

“We’ve got to be more consistent,” Delaney said. “When we get the ball we’ve got to take advantage of that opportunity and put points on the board.

“One reason is because Travon (Van) is nicked up. That puts an awful lot of pressure on Jordan Canada to take most every carry. I thought we had a good plan going in (last weekend). I wasn’t sure if Travon was going to play. He did give us a little bit. Joey (Counts) gave us something early then he got hurt in the second quarter. That put everything back on Jordan (Canada).”

Montana fullback Jamal Wilson says his offense needs to get back to the smashmouth mentality that served it so well earlier in the season. Over their last two games, the Griz have managed 213 rushing yards. In their two Big Sky wins prior to that they piled up 633 yards on the ground.

“I think early-on in the season we were just outright physical,” he said. “That’s the way we played the game and we succeeded.”

Sacramento State (4-4 overall) has been impressive statistically as of late. In conference-only competition, the Hornets rank ahead of Montana defensively. They have allowed an average of 17.5 points and the Griz are allowing 24.8.

The Hornets have permitted an average of 363.8 yards per game in four league contests. After Saturday, Montana is surrendering an average of 421.4.

The Griz rank 12th out of 13 Big Sky teams defending the pass in league-only games. They have allowed an average of 268.2 yards.

Hornets QB Garrett Safron ranks just in front of Montana’s Jordan Johnson in league-only passing. Safron, who like Johnson has a lot of success scrambling out of the pocket, averages about 255 yards passing per game to Johnson’s 249.

Despite the outcome Saturday, Delaney was proud of the way his troops refused to surrender after facing a 42-17 deficit in the fourth quarter. In his mind, that bodes well for the future.

“We moved the ball pretty darn well most of the time,” he noted. “We got into catch-up mode again which I hope we don’t have any more of those but I’m sure we may. We’ve had a lot of practice at it lately so we should be pretty proficient.

“... You know it would have been real easy at 42-17 to say the heck with this, we’ll let this one go and let the rest of the season go by the wayside. But nobody would do that. They’ve worked too hard and have too much invested.”

QUICK KICKS: Since the start of the 2012 season, Montana is 6-7 in conference games. ... The Griz are 4-4 on the road in Delaney’s two seasons. ... With Johnson at quarterback, UM lost the last time it play at Hornet Stadium in 2011. ... Montana has a gaudy 16-1 edge in its series with Sac State. ... Montana has 11 players on its roster from California. The last time the Griz visited The Golden State they rolled over UC Davis 42-7 on Oct. 12. ... As a salute to the military, Sac State has encouraged fans to wear black on Saturday. ... Max Media will air the game. That includes subscribers of Charter (channel 2 in Missoula), DirectTV (channel 24) and DISH (channel 17).

http://missoulian.com/sports/college/montana/football/rested-hornets-await-banged-up-grizzlies/article_abbd2812-40f5-11e3-9a35-001a4bcf887a.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
 
Let's see some more 10 to 7 but before the Griz get down by three scores. Didn't someone suggest in a thread at putting McKinney in at RB if Counts and Van are out. Guess we'll see some John Nyguen. Truth be told the Defense worries me a bit more. Hopefully, they shore up the tackling. Go Griz!
 
NLGrizFan said:
The D worries me a lot now. Ranked 12 of the 13 BSC teams?? That's not good.

Yes for sure. I would have never expected that from this group. What this team needs is to get hot now towards the end of the season and playoffs. The teams that get hot late in the season always make some noise in the playoffs.
 
Hammer said:
NLGrizFan said:
The D worries me a lot now. Ranked 12 of the 13 BSC teams?? That's not good.

Yes for sure. I would have never expected that from this group. What this team needs is to get hot now towards the end of the season and playoffs. The teams that get hot late in the season always make some noise in the playoffs.
For Sure!! I figured after the 10 or so lessons from last season they woulda figured something out. Well, maybe that's kinda harsh considering they were dead last in the FCS last season. And I don't think the game last weekend helped matters...
 
I have to agree. The defense looked lost at times and the tackling was horrid at times. Tye G will have to get this cleaned up by Saturday.
 
NLGrizFan said:
The D worries me a lot now. Ranked 12 of the 13 BSC teams?? That's not good.

Wonder what the stats would look like if we could include all the "non conference" conference games...Sac State gets to include their UND game, but we do not. They DON'T have to include their SUU game, both of which would skew their stats negatively.
 
AZGrizFan said:
NLGrizFan said:
The D worries me a lot now. Ranked 12 of the 13 BSC teams?? That's not good.

Wonder what the stats would look like if we could include all the "non conference" conference games...Sac State gets to include their UND game, but we do not. They DON'T have to include their SUU game, both of which would skew their stats negatively.
I'd really like to see the stats of how both teams individual stats against UND.
I do know that Safron went 19/24, 202 yds and a TD. And Mollberg was 18/39, 167 yds and 0 TDs. That's a pretty big margin. It'd be nice if UM could include UND, JJ went 15/19, 354 and 5 TDs. But still Mollberg didn't have a lot of trouble 25/43, 281 yds and 2 TDs.
 
Read zone from the shot gun or pistol. I'm about ready for the defense to show up and wallop these guys.
 
“We got into catch-up mode again which I hope we don’t have any more of those but I’m sure we may. We’ve had a lot of practice at it lately so we should be pretty proficient.

Hopefully we can use that "experience" gained from catch-up mode and use it early on to avoid having to play catch-up.
 
get'em_griz said:
“We got into catch-up mode again which I hope we don’t have any more of those but I’m sure we may. We’ve had a lot of practice at it lately so we should be pretty proficient.

Hopefully we can use that "experience" gained from catch-up mode and use it early on to avoid having to play catch-up.
Wouldn't that be something!! I'd like to see them come out firing on all 8 and run Sac State over and not even look back.
 
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