(Story by Dustin Klemann)
SAN LOUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sixty-seven and sunny is the forecast for kickoff here Saturday at Spanos Stadium in San Luis Obispo.
The Montana Grizzlies are chasing their first road win of the season and first since Bobby Hauck’s return. It won’t be hard to ignore Cal Poly’s 1-3 record as the Mustangs have eked out wins in the past two meetings, both by a single point.
Despite last week’s 70-17 pounding at the hands of Eastern Washington, the Mustangs still amassed nearly 400 yards of offense — a big majority from that triple-option attack and bruising back Joe Protheroe, who had 176 yards on the ground. Two weeks ago against Brown, Protheroe rushed for 228 yards and three scores on 43 carries.
Despite that, the Mustangs know all about Montana’s rich football tradition and the return of one of its most prominent coaches.
“The first thing is, Bobby Hauck is back,” said Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh. “I coached against Bobby a ton of times when I was at Portland State, so he and I have a good relationship. We’re going to have to fight that Montana Griz tradition that they’ve had in the past. He’s really chiseled that way as a Grizzly.”
Walsh is also aware of Montana’s size and strength.
“We’re going to fight their physicality on both sides of the football, but I’ve been really impressed with them defensively,” he said. “They are physical and they are big. They do an impressive job running the football, and I just like the way they play. Offensively they are way different that they were 10 years ago, so I expect a more power football team, and we have a real finesse football team, and we’re going to have to deal with all the creativity they have on offense.”
Kick off is 5:05 p.m. (MT) in what could be another tough fight between both teams.