Montana Grizzlies looking to bounce back during difficult week

MISSOULA – It’s been mostly smiles and celebrations for Montana football since the season kicked off. Now, the young team needs to prove it can respond to disappointment, and quickly.

A shocking Homecoming loss to Portland State still stings as the Grizzlies take maybe one of their toughest trips of the year. The most obvious mistakes made last Saturday came on four costly fumbles, which all resulted in points for the Vikings. Head coach Bobby Hauck always preaches ball security, but he said he will need to re-emphasize that point this week.

North Dakota’s stout defense will have two weeks to prepare for the Grizzlies’ offense, because the Fighting Hawks had a bye last week.

“Having to come off a loss at home and go on the road and get a win, there are things that are stacked against us with them having the open date,” said Hauck. “We’re nursing a few things, obviously. This will be a tough trip. We kind of expect it to be sold out this weekend, so we’ll have to practice with crowd noise and do our best to try and alleviate some of that. But the hard part is, they are pretty good.”

North Dakota is transitioning out of the Big Sky Conference, so it is playing as an independent team this year. But games against the Fighting Hawks still count in the conference standings.

UM and UND will kick off at noon this Saturday.

Derek Buerkle

Derek Buerkle

Derek has worked in sports at KPAX-TV in Missoula since 2007. He grew up in Big Timber, Montana, and attended the University of Montana journalism program.
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