ST. GEORGE, Utah — After kicking off the 2023 season with a 35-20 win over Butler at home last week, Montana is now on the road for a matchup with Utah Tech on Saturday 7 p.m.
"In terms of Utah Tech I don’t think any of us, for the most part, have been to a game there," said Montana coach Bobby Hauck. "So it’ll be something new, a new road trip, and it’ll be our first road trip of the season."
Utah Tech is a relative unknown to the Griz, who have played the Trailblazers just once before — a game the Griz won 31-14 during the 2021 season in Missoula when they were known as the Dixie State Trailblazers.
"They’re not totally familiar to us so, the preparation will have to be pretty intense this week," said Hauck. "We won’t have anything historically really to go upon. We know they’re gonna challenge in man coverage, they’re going to open up formations on offense and they throw it around.
"They’ve got a lot of running chute principles in their offense so we gotta be ready for that. We know they led the WAC last year in passing yards so we have our work cut out for us."
The Trailblazers lost their season opener last week in Bozeman to Montana State 63-20 and looks to rebound against the other ranked FCS team from the Treasure State. As for the No. 13-ranked Griz heading into the first road game of the season where kickoff temperatures will be nearly 100 degrees, they’re not treating it any differently.
"I think you just take it like any other game. You know, watch as much film as you can, learn their tendencies as best you can," said senior safety Nash Fouch. "They've got speed in the slots, they’re going to throw it around the field. So I think you just approach it like any other game, just make sure you focus in on the little things and I think we’ll handle them just fine if we prepare like we do for every other game."
Even though the previous game the Griz played against the Trailblazers was only two years ago, they don’t plan to lean much on the takeaways from that game.
"Not really, they’re a little bit different," said Hauck. "They got a new special teams coordinator, the offense has changed, so no, not really."
The Griz will look to improve to 2-0 on the season when they kickoff at Greater Zion Stadium on Saturday night.