MISSOULA – The temperatures soared near triple digits, but you could feel fall in the air Wednesday in Missoula.
The Grizzlies returned to the football field for their first official practice. Bobby Hauck is back in charge after eight seasons away, and he brought the guys back to Dornblaser Field on the south campus like he did years ago.
Montana players and coaches praised the summer workouts that every Grizzly attended over the past couple months. But now the intensity goes up a notch. Hauck knows there’s work to be done, and the players can’t wait to get started.
“Diagnosing what we thought would be the exact appropriate amount of plays, practices, periods to work before the first game,” said Hauck about the coaching staff’s work leading up to fall camp. “But with that being said, we need every minute. It’s going to be urgent. We just need to get to work and get ready for Sept. 1”
“You’re intense during the summer, during the workouts, but there is nothing like coming out and getting back into it,” added senior defensive tackle David Shaw. “So it’s always a different thing, but you get used to it quick.”
“It’s exciting,” said senior linebacker Josh Buss. “This time of year a lot of guys kind of dread fall camp. When you’re a freshman you do, of course. But as you get older, going into the senior season it’s exciting. I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else right now.”
Buss was wearing a smile back at camp, but the star linebacker unfortunately also wore a blue jersey. The senior from Boise is still being held out of drills due to an undisclosed injury from the offseason. And neither he nor coach Hauck would comment on when he might return.
Wednesday was practice one of 21 before the Grizzlies take on Northern Iowa on Sept. 1.