• Hi Guest, want to participate in the discussions, keep track of read/unread posts and more? Create your free account and increase the benefits of your eGriz.com experience today!

Spokesman Review take on the Big Game


Well-known member
Friday, November 22, 2002


EWU's win spices Sky
Big sky football notebook
Related stories

Dave Trimmer
Staff writer

It doesn't get any better than this -- unless the home team is involved.

The Big Sky Conference football season comes down to the final game, which happens to be the best rivalry if not always the best game.

Montana State plays at Montana on Saturday with the winner taking the league's automatic berth into the I-AA playoffs.

"I think it's good for the conference that the last game of the year has a lot of impact on the final standings," Eastern Washington coach Paul Wulff said.

But don't expect him to buy that stuff about a great ending or pick a favorite.

"I'm not partial to who wins the conference," Wulff said " I'm partial to Eastern Washington."

That's who he wants to see on top, but obviously that didn't happen as the Eagles finished 6-5 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

That winning record came about -- as well as the mess atop the conference standings -- because the Eagles beat Montana 30-21 Saturday before 17,142 fans at Albi Stadium, ending the Grizzlies' 24-game winning streak.

"Several phone calls and e-mails, obviously all real positive," Wulff said of the reaction he has received to the win. "It sounds like we gained some fans."

But that was last week and, perhaps, a good omen for next year. There still is some football to be played this year.

"They're two good teams," said Wulff, whose team lost 25-14 in Bozeman two weeks ago. "I think it's going to be a good game. I think it's going to be a challenge for Montana State to go into Missoula and win, No. 1. No. 2, because of Montana and their history, I'm sure they're going to come out fighting after this last loss."

If the Bobcats can end their 16-year drought against the Griz, MSU, UM and Idaho State will all be 5-2 in league play. The Cats, who hold the tiebreaker, would finish 7-5. ISU, which plays Southern Utah (1-9) this week, will probably end up 8-3 and UM would be 10-2.

Montana is going to the playoffs. The Griz are currently ranked fourth and are the defending national champions. Idaho State's chances of making the playoffs improve if Montana wins.

"It's better (for the league) that we get two or three teams in the playoffs," Wulff said. "I think it's strong enough to get three teams in the playoffs. It probably won't happen."

Quick kicks
Montana's loss to EWU knocked the Grizzlies down to No. 4 in the rankings. McNeese State, 10-1, is No. 1. The Cowboys' only loss was to Nebraska. Idaho State moved up two spots to No. 18. Sixteen teams make the playoffs and the rankings are part of the consideration . . . Weber State churned out 594 yards of total offense at Sacramento State and still lost 41-38. Sac State rallied from a 31-23 deficit entering the fourth quarter. Weber lost despite a career-high 223 rushing yards from Nick Chournos and 349 yards passing from Tate Bennett. Sac State quarterback Ryan Leadingham passed for 305 yards, becoming the school's career yardage leader and he's just a sophomore. . . . The other season-enders have Humboldt State (1-9) at Sacramento State (4-7) and Weber State (3-7) at Cal Poly (2-8).
The Spokesman article also included a chart of Big Sky attendance. Your Montana Grizzlies led the league with 19,453 per game. EWU brings up the rear at 6204. Factor out the 17,142 fans at the EWU-UM game last week and EDUB bottoms out at 4017 per game.
GO GRIZ, beat the Cats.
how many EWu fans did the spokesman review say attended the game?
Previous SR articles put the crowd at 50/50 but Griz fans in attendance know this is not true. I think the GRIZ had at least 10,000 fans on their side.
I am thinking 11,500 Griz and probably 6,000 Eastern supporters.

Boy I tell you..............
It has really been a rough week here in Spokane dealing with the ridge runner Eagle FANS. These are the same fricking guys that I invited (as a true football fan at all levels) to go out to Cheney and watch a couple of EWU football games throughout the year and it always seems that something comes and they always decline. My god it is your team isn't it??
I think the 10,000 number for Griz fans at the EWU game is pretty close, though maybe a little conservative. Looking over at the EWU side when all the fans were in the seats it looked like it was about 2/3 full, whereas the Griz side had only a few seats on the ends that were not full. Since the stadium is symmetrical and holds 22,000, that means around 10,000 Griz fans. Pretty amazing travelling by the Griz Nation!