Montana quarterback Gresch Jensen will transfer to a new school after starting more than half the season as a freshman (Photo courtesy: Kelly Morris Photography)

MISSOULA – Fans, players and coaches think all year about another showdown between the Montana Grizzlies and Montana State Bobcats. The football rivalry kicks off for the 117th time on Saturday.

With so much riding on the outcome, the first few minutes are always a crazy rush of emotions for both teams. Eventually most players settle in, and the side that can overcome the adrenaline first has an advantage.

So Montana is trying to properly prepare several key players that will play a big role in the rivalry for the first time, including freshman quarterback Gresch Jensen.

“Gresch is a little different,” said Griz head coach Bob Stitt. “He does get a little hyped up early, so he’s got to calm down and just take the game as it comes. He’ll be ready to go. He thrives on stuff like this.”

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“Just stay calm, really,” said senior inside receiver Josh Horner about what advice he’d give the younger players. “It’s easy to get lost in the moment and get hyped up, a little too over-hyped I think sometimes, so just stay calm. After the first snap it’s just a football game.

The Grizzlies’ roster overall has a little more experience in this rivalry, with nine starting seniors versus the young Bobcats, who have six.

They’ll all be hyped up for kickoff in Bozeman at noon on Saturday.