MISSOULA — Next up for the Montana Grizzlies, a brand-new challenge.
Montana will meet Monmouth for the first time ever. The Hawks out of the Big South Conference went 8-3 last year and made the FCS playoffs a couple seasons ago.
But not only have they not played the Griz before, they don't have any recent common opponents. So preparation will be a little harder for Bobby Hauck and company this week. The head coach preached the importance of this non-conference tilt, while keeping November on his mind.
"It is a challenge because we don't have a whole bunch of crossover," admitted Hauck. "But we do know of some of the teams they've played the last couple years. We've seen them on film. So we have a little bit of gauge there. But these inter-sectional games are big when you've got a playoff system. So for us this is a huge game in that regard."
The Grizzlies likely finished one win shy of a playoff trip a season ago. A narrow non-conference loss at Western Illinois could have made the difference. Hauck and the Grizzlies remember that fact.
Monmouth beat Albany in overtime last week to improve to 2-1. The Hawks and Grizzlies collide at 1 p.m. Saturday in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.