The Montana Grizzly Football team are showing people that they aren’t the same team they where last season. After a pre-season 21 rank in the FCS polls, the Grizzlies find themselves at number 9 after playing only two opponents. They took it to the power house Appalachian state week one, then North Dakota after a bye week. The Grizzly offense lead by Jordan Johnson this week’s Big Sky Player of the week, is turning heads and bringing in recognition.
The Grizzlies don’t look to slow down with a home game against the low Oklahoma Panhandle State team.
With Oklahoma Panhandle being the last non-conference game for the Grizzlies, improvement and preparation can’t come soon enough.
Yes the Grizzlies have looked sharp so far this season, but have we really been put up against good competition or seen what we have in store for opponents yet? In the victory over Appalachian State we realized that we have lots of offensive weapons including Ellis Henderson, Travon Van, Jordan Canada, Jordan Johnson, and more. Sure Appalachian State already has two losses and aren’t playing for anything this season with a soon move up to FBS, but that victory still shows a ton towards this years defense and Jordan Johnson after missing a year. We were also shown something that we expected, and that was that our defensive front seven can be the best in the conference. Before the match up against North Dakota the secondary was a topic for concern. They showed they can hang in their by shutting out all american Greg Hardin and the North Dakota offense to only 17 points.
This weekend is that to stay healthy, don’t force anything, and let the backups get some snaps and minutes. With that in mind it can be fun to watch the young talent of this Grizzly team, because they are deep in most positions.
Northern Arizona on the road in two weeks for the first conference game can pose some threat. Northern’s biggest threat, running back Zach Bauman who put up 71 yards against the Pac 12 Arizona squad, will have his plays but shouldn’t do anything spectacular with the stout run defense of the Grizzlies.
The next 3 of 4 weeks will really show the talent level of this years squad. Three home games against Portland State, Cal Poly, and Eastern Washington.
The Grizzlies have the talent level and room for improvement to go undefeated this season and make a running against North Dakota State for the championship. Especially since we haven’t seen some threats such as Jordan Johnson’s run game, Travon Van with more opportunities, and tight end Clay Pierson.
If the defensive secondary becomes exposed like it did last season and an injury to a player such as Anthony Goodwin the best corner happens the Griz can be in a world of hurt. Especially in games against Montana State and Eastern Washington. If that is the case, the Grizzlies can be fighting to make the playoffs for a second year in a row.
Expect the Grizzlies to stay on a roll and creep up in the FCS Polls.
To Other Grizzly Athletics.
The back to back Big Sky Conference Champion Soccer team is 2-3-3 going into conference play and has shown they are capable to capture a third Big Sky Conference title. With new leadership talent in goalie Kendra McMillen, India Watne, and Tyler Adair the soccer squad will have tough defense and their offense will only improve.
To the hardcourt, the experienced Women’s Volleyball team has had early struggles, but is capable to match up against anyone in the conference with hard hitter Kayla Reno, and her assistant Brooke Bray. With a trophy from the Lone Star Showdown in Texas the ladies can definitely get on a roll and keep it going into conference play. This weekend will really show where they match up with home matches against Northern Colorado and North Dakota.
1. Jordan Johnson might be the best QB in the Big Sky
2. Travon Van is a goldmine with FBS talent
3. Kayla Reno and Brooke Bray can be one of the best duo’s in the Big Sky Conference
4. This years Grizzly football team has NFL talent
5. The Grizzly football team will host a night playoff game or two under the lights
The Real Man’s League (NFL)
NCAA over unders
MLB Playoff Race
NL stays the same
Atlanta battles the Cardinals in the NLCS
In the Al….
Texas and Kansas City will win the wild card spots. The ALCS will be Boston and Detroit
The world Series will be Boston vs. St. Louis and the Red Sox will bring back glory to Boston.
Find out more information on these topics and plenty more upcoming local/national sports news at Play Missoula’s/playmissoula.org website- Shane’s Sportin’ Up Blog. Or KBGA 89.9 Sports talk.