MISSOULA — Montana started slow but found its footing in the second half to beat Dixie State 31-14 on Saturday. With the win, Montana improved to 4-1 on the season. Dixie State fell to 0-5.
UM freshman quarterback Kris Brown rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another in his first start of the season after regular starter Cam Humphrey sat due to an undisclosed injury suffered against Eastern Washington in Week 5.
TURNING POINT: Freshman running back Junior Bergen's touchdown in the third quarter. Montana struggled to get anything going in the first half and missed a field goal on its first possession of the third quarter, but UM's second drive in the third quarter resulted in Bergen's 6-yard rushing TD that ultimately gave the Griz the momentum.
STAT OF THE GAME: Turnovers. Brown's fumble and interception in the first quarter zapped any offensive energy Montana had in the first half, and UM's turnover on downs on a fake field goal just before halftime added to the struggle. Meanwhile, Dixie State lost opportunities to take an early lead on the Griz with its own first-half turnovers, including a a first-quarter interception from quarterback Kenyon Oblad by UM quarterback Justin Ford.
GAME BALL: Montana's defense. Despite the sluggish start on offense, the Griz defense did what it was supposed to do, holding Dixie State to just 14 points, all of which came in the fourth quarter and one score which was a defensive touchdown for the Trailblazers. Dixie State was held to just 261 yards on offense by UM.
WHAT'S NEXT: Montana moves to 4-1 will be at home for a second consecutive week, facing Sacramento State on Oct. 16.