MISSOULA – Montana Grizzly football fans were treated to a remarkable start to the season, as Montana jumped out with an incredible first half, but the second half might have left a sour taste. Montana built a 26-0 lead and then hung on to clip Northern Iowa 26-23.
But in the end, it’s still a win over a nationally ranked team, and Montana is off and running in 2018.
“In the first half we looked like kind of a veteran team,” said head coach Bobby Hauck. “In the second half, we did some dumb stuff. We looked like a bunch of rookies out there. But the one thing I will say about our team is as it started tightening up in the second half, there was no panic on our sideline. There was no doubt in anybody’s eyes. The best part of the whole thing is we get to learn some great lessons, and we’re 1-0.”
“A lot of stuff to correct, like coach was saying,” said quarterback Dalton Sneed. “I would say more bad than good in my opinion on my part, can’t speak for everybody, but a lot of things to learn from, also.”
Many of the Grizzlies getting their first start had a great debut. Sneed looked like a quarterback that can lead the offense. Dante Olson was the start of the defense, making plays all over from his linebacker position.
But there was still plenty to correct. Montana’s offensive line is still a work in progress, and the defense could not get off the field on some big third downs in that second half.
So Montana will head back to work, as Drake will come to town for another home game Sept. 8 in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.