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Grizzly rewind: A look back at the last time Montana and Furman clashed in the 2001 national championship

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Dec 05, 2023

MISSOULA — The No. 2 Montana Grizzlies (11-1) are set to clash with the No. 7 Furman Paladins (10-2) in the FCS quarterfinal round on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

Like Montana's opponent last weekend in Delaware, these two teams have seen each other before, but it's been well over two decades since the programs clashed on the field. And the last time they met, the stakes couldn't have been any higher as Montana and Furman battled it out for the NCAA Division I-AA national championship on Dec. 21, 2001 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Grizzlies ultimately won the game 13-6 to secure the program's second national title under head coach Joe Glenn, the first coming back in 1995.

In a game defined as a defensive slugfest, UM got a touchdown from running back Yohance Humphrey in the second quarter to go up 7-0. Chris Snyder added a late 35-yard field goal to send UM into half up 10-0, then Snyder converted a 30-yard attempt to make it 13-0 mid-way through the fourth quarter.

Humphrey finished with 142 yards on the ground while quarterback John Edwards went 18 for 28 for 124 yards. Etu Molden caught 10 passes for 74 yards.

Defensively, the Grizzlies shined, as Vince Huntsberger led the way with 10 total tackles and one interception, while Dave DeCoite also had a pick for Montana. The two also teamed up for a forced and recovered fumble.

Dan Orizotti had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss in the game while Curt Colter also got in on a sack. Ciche Pitcher, Tim Bush and Blake Horgan also added tackles for loss.

The Grizzlies had 297 yards of total offense on the day while the Paladins had 293. Both teams finished 3 for 16 on third down as well.

To see the full Grizzly rewind from Montana Television Network archives from that championship game, check out the video above.