MISSOULA – Preparing for Montana’s defense could keep quarterbacks up at night. The Grizzly pass rush is putting up some huge sack numbers in recent weeks.

The Griz sacked Savannah State eight times, Eastern Washington five times, and Idaho State six times. UM’s 20 sacks leaves them only eight short of 2016’s total for the whole season.

And unlike in past years when Tyrone Homes, Zack Wagenmann, and few other stars hogged all of the sacks, Montana is spreading it around. Thirteen players have wrapped up at least half a sack, led by senior defensive end Tucker Schye’s 4.5.

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“I definitely feel like we have a lot of weapons up front, which makes it harder for teams to make a scheme against us and try to block us,” said sophomore defensive tackle Jesse Sims, who recorded his first 2.5 sacks in a dominant individual performance at Idaho State.

“You look at the last game. Now next week people are going to probably key on Jesse and try to block him, and that will free up someone else,” added sophomore defensive end Chris Favoroso, who made his first sack of the season in Pocatello. “I mean, you can’t really block anyone on our defense with one guy, so I think that’s a problem. And when you try to, it’s going to free someone up.”

This week’s opponent wants to run the ball more often. But if the Griz can shut down North Dakota’s backs, QB Keaton Studsrud could be running for his life. UND has given up 15 total sacks through six games.

The 4-2 Grizzlies and 2-4 Fighting Hawks kick off the homecoming game in Missoula at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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