The numbers don't lie.
The 120th game between the Montana and Montana State football teams is set to be one of the most-anticipated in recent memory. The game wasn't played in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the FCS for the second consecutive time and the third since 2011. The series is tied 9-9 since the introduction of the Great Divide Trophy in 2001.
Because of the hype, MTN Sports compared the team leaders in a few key areas ahead of the 2021 game.
• Montana State averages 428.6 yards of total offense and 31.1 points per game.
• Montana averages 375.8 yards of total offense and 29.3 points per game.
• Montana State - Matt McKay - 191.3 avg. passing yards per game - 15 total touchdowns
• Montana - Cam Humphrey - 188.7 avg. passing yards per game - 12 total touchdowns
• Montana State - Isaiah Ifanse - 120.8 yards per game (leads Big Sky Conference) - 8 total touchdowns
• Montana - Xavier Harris - 68.7 yards per game - 1 total touchdown
• Montana State - Lance McCutcheon - 87.4 yards per game - 6 total touchdowns
• Montana - Mitch Roberts - 58.1 yards per game - 1 total touchdown
• Montana State allows the fewest points per game (11.6) in the Big Sky Conference, and has allowed just 13 total touchdowns. In the Big Sky, MSU has the top defense against the pass, allowing just 161.3 yards per game.
• Montana allows the second-fewest points per game (13.3) in the conference, and has allowed just 17 total touchdowns. In the Big Sky, UM has the the top defense against the run, allowing just 73 rushing yards per game.
• Montana State - Troy Andersen - 101
• Montana - Robby Hauck - 101
• Montana State - Daniel Hardy - 9.5 sacks
• Montana - Patrick O'Connell - 11.5 sacks (leads Big Sky Conference)
• Montana State - Jeffrey Manning, Ty Okada, Callahan O'Reilly - 2 interceptions each
• Montana - Justin Ford - 8 interceptions (leads Big Sky Conference, FCS, and FBS)
• Montana's Malik Flowers is the conference's leading kick returner, averaging 36.2 yards per return and has two returns for a touchdown this season
• Montana punter Brian Buschini leads the conference, averaging 46.5 yards per punt