MISSOULA — Montana will head into the 121st meeting with Montana State riding a lot of momentum.
Running back Nick Ostmo had another huge game, the defense was again suffocating and the 16th-ranked Grizzlies blew out Eastern Washington 63-7 on Senior Day at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday.
The Griz (7-3, 4-3 Big Sky) have won two straight games in blowout fashion heading into the regular-season finale next week against archrival Montana State in Bozeman.
A week after piling up a career-high 221 rushing yards in a 57-0 victory over Cal Poly, Ostmo, a sophomore from Portland, Ore., had 146 rushing yards, 63 receiving yards and scored four total touchdowns.
Montana put together another dominant defensive performance, limiting the Eagles to 310 total yards.
Turning point: What turning point? The game got out of hand early when the Grizzlies gave the ball to Ostmo.
Ostmo took a pass 18 yards for a touchdown to give UM a 7-0 advantage early in the first quarter, then ran for an 80-yard score on the next possession to extend the lead, which grew to 42-0 by halftime. Ostmo had four first-half scores.
Stat of the game: After a 22-yard touchdown run by backup QB Daniel Britt, Montana led 56-0 and had scored 113 straight points against its past two opponents. That streak was snapped at the 6:05 mark of the third quarter when EWU’s Blake Gobel caught a 6-yard TD pass.
Grizzly game balls: RB Nick Ostmo (offense). Ostmo was unstoppable in the first half, helping the Griz build a six-touchdown lead. Ostmo now has six touchdowns in the past two games.
S Robby Hauck (defense). Making his 50th career start, Hauck finished the game with 12 stops to increase his all-time school-record tackle total.
KR Garrett Graves (special teams). Montana had just one kickoff return, but Graves made it count, taking it 77 yards into EWU territory, leading to a TD pass from backup QB Daniel Britt to Cole Grossman.
What’s next: Cat-Griz week has arrived. Montana will travel to face their No. 1 nemesis, Montana State, in the 121st meeting between the schools on Saturday in Bozeman. Kickoff is at noon, and the game will be broadcast on the Montana Television Network.
The Grizzlies lead the all-time series against the Bobcats 73-41-5, but MSU has won six of the past 10 meetings. Montana won last season’s game in Missoula, 29-10.