BOZEMAN — It’s Cat-Griz week and for the Montana State captains it will be their last hurrah playing in this storied rivalry.
“It’s the best week of the year," said backup junior quarterback Tucker Rovig who will not be playing next year after graduating last spring. "It’s better than Christmas, Thanksgiving, all that stuff. I think everybody on this team can say that when Sunday comes around and you know its a new week and you know that week’s Cat-Griz, it’s a great feeling because you know the guys on this team are going to prepare their butts off.”
According to star linebacker Troy Andersen, you don’t know how truly big the game is unless you play or coach in it.
“Until you’re actually in the heat of the moment and playing in that game, you just don’t really understand it," Andersen said. "Luckily our players get to go. Everybody gets to go and experience it.”
Each captain of course has a favorite memory
“I think of 2017," said Rovig. "My roommate at the time was (defensive back) Tyrel Thomas and I remember (Griz QB Gresch Jensen), it was fourth down and he threw a come backer out and (Thomas) deflected it and ran into the opposite end zone (to celebrate). Obviously, in 2018 the goal-line stand and then 2019, that one was a special one for me because that was the first one I got to play in.”
“I’d say probably 2018," said Andersen. "It was obviously a crazy game and big win. Wasn’t able to play in 2019, which was another big win. It was fun to watch, but you’d obviously rather be playing.”
“My first college sack was against Montana when I was at Washington, so that’s something I’ll never forget," said senior defensive end Amandre Williams, who made his first sack on Sept. 9 of 2017 with UW. "(Favorite) Cat-Griz memory, the first play in 2019, the first defensive play, forced a fumble, turnover, that was fun.”
For offensive lineman Lewis Kidd, it was a running joke in the locker room in 2017 that running back Nick LaSane couldn’t, for whatever reason, bust a long run for a touchdown, but he did against the Griz.
“We were on like our 20 so we were deep and he came out of the line and just shot through," said Kidd. "I just remember running down there and looking at him, he was looking up at the scoreboard making sure nobody was there to hawk him and it was hilarious because he was trying to juke the guy behind him and he ended up strolling in (the end zone). I just remember that. I thought it was a pretty funny memory and awesome for sure.”
None of the captains have ever lost a Cat-Griz game and you can surely bet that they want to keep it that way.
“To be able to say that you haven’t lost to them is something that -- I mean the last group of seniors was able to say and I want to add my name to that list for sure,” Andersen said.