MISSOULA — After falling 55-21 at Montana State last week to close out the regular season, Montana is looking to rebound with the first round of the playoffs starting Saturday, where it will host the 9-2 Southeast Missouri Redhawks.
"We’ll take a page out of our rivals book from a year ago where you get beat down and then go on a nice little playoff run," said head coach Bobby Hauck. "It’ll be great for us, so we need to do that this weekend."
While the rivalry loss stung, Hauck and the team know they have to put it behind them and keep their eyes on the prize as they head into playoffs.
"If you’re involved in football or any sport you’re gonna lose, that’s just what it is when they’re keeping score one team doesn’t win all the time," said Hauck. "And you know that just goes back into competitiveness, so we’ve got a competitive group, they’ll be excited to prepare for a really good opponent in a playoff game and I don’t think that the competitiveness of this group would ever be in question."
Captain and wide receiver Mitch Roberts knows play has to be better and is looking forward to the clean slate that the team is now presented with.
"Just got to improve you know going into this week preparation-wise and it’s a new season so looking forward to it," said Roberts.
Fellow team captain Patrick O’Connell is eager to show the college football world what the Griz are capable of.
'It doesn’t matter, we’re 0-0, so we get a fresh start, and we get to go show the country what we can do," said a stern-faced O’Connell. "We've got to play better obviously and go do our thing, so we’re 0-0 and that’s where we’ll start again."
The Griz finished the year 7-4 after a 5-0 start, but all that goes out the window with playoffs ahead and it be win or go home. The Griz will host the Redhawks this Saturday with a 8pm kickoff. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.