MISSOULA — After cruising through the first six games of the season to a No. 5 ranking in the FCS and 5-1 overall record, the Montana Grizzlies hit a roadblock last Saturday in California.
UM lost to Sacramento State 49-22 for its first conference loss of the season. The Hornets struck quickly with a 35-point first half, as they racked up 561 yards on offense and 31 first downs. Defensively, Sac State racked up six sacks and made life difficult for Montana on that side of the ball.
But back home for the first time in three weeks, No. 10 Montana (5-2, 2-1) is using this week as a chance to refocus as a matchup with Eastern Washington (3-4, 2-1) looms.
"I feel like it can. I mean, you never want to drop one, but I feel like it can help you refocus and say here look, we got complacent and we weren’t doing what we were supposed to do or we didn’t come out with the right type of energy," Montana receiver Samuel Akem said. "There’s things we just didn’t do right. I feel like it can help you refocus and get back on track.
"You don’t want to drop one but if it’s needed to get you refocused, it is what it is."
"You come into it with a little sour taste in your mouth, so you want to get out here and work and get the preparation right for this weekend and get everything cleaned up from last week to this week," linebacker Jace Lewis added. "If you sit there and dwell on it, it's not going to do you any good. We corrected it Monday, got over it, did everything we had to do, but that's in the past now and we're 0-0 this week and trying to get to 1-0."
Kickoff between Montana and Eastern Washington is scheduled for noon on Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.