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MISSOULA, MONT. -- When asked about the Montana Grizzlies, Weber State Head Coach Ron McBride just shrugged his shoulders and said, "They are solid in every phase of the game. They are a very good football team."
It was the Montana Grizzlies that ended Weber State's dream season last year in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division One FCS playoffs 24-13. The Grizzlies are once again the powerhouse team of the Big Sky Conference coming into the game against the ‘Cats 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Big Sky Conference play. They are ranked 2nd in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls.
Montana and Weber State are not strangers to each other. Along with Idaho State, the Grizzlies are the Wildcats oldest continual football rival. The year was 1962 when these two teams first met. That game ended with the Grizzlies winning 25-6. Montana has been the dominant team in the series winning 16 of the last 19 against the Wildcats.
Ever since the 45-28 loss in Ogden on October 4th, 2008 the Grizzlies have won 17 of their last 18 games, with their only loss coming in the FCS Championship game against the University of Richmond. The Wildcats are also putting a streak of their own on the line. They have won seven straight Big Sky Conference games on the road.
This game matches up strength against strength. Weber State comes into the game ranked first in scoring defense, allowing just 21 points per game. On the flip side, Montana comes in ranked first in scoring offense, averaging 38 points per game. The Wildcats are also ranked first in total offense with just under 441 yards per game, while Montana is second in total defense, holding teams to just under 379 yards per game.
"This team knows how and knows what it takes to win games," said Coach McBride. "They have belief in themselves and their team and they are confident in any situation. That is what all teams strive for and what all great teams have."
‘Coach Mac' and his Wildcats will be looking for a win in Missoula for the first time since 1987.
The game kicks off Saturday afternoon at 1:05 inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula.