MISSOULA – On Friday night, it remained calm in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. But you could already feel the anticipation building. The place will be packed with over 26,000 fans by noon on Saturday. The biggest game of the year kicks off when the Montana Grizzlies meet the Montana State Bobcats.
As if this game needed any more motivation, both 6-4 teams will also be battling for their playoff lives. The loser will surely see its season end, while the winner of the Great Divide Trophy will hold out hope it can get a postseason spot.
With all of the added attention and pressure surrounding this rivalry, the hardest part might be keeping everything the same leading up until kickoff. But that’s the goal for Bobby Hauck and company.
“My opinion is every time the Grizzlies play, it’s a big game,” said the head coach. “So our preparation is uniform through the season. It won’t differ any this week. But the difference is everybody’s attention in our home state is focused on Missoula, Montana this Saturday.”
“It ups the anticipation and the excitement, everything along those lines,” admitted senior linebacker Josh Buss. “Everyone is excited to go out and play. But you can’t put your focus on Saturday right now. You have to put your focus on today and get better today.”
Montana State has won the last two showdowns. The Cats haven’t won three in a row since 1985. The Grizziles try to reverse that trend at noon Saturday.