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Getting out of the gates quickly has been a focal point for Hauck and the Grizzlies all season, and nowhere has that been more evident than the last two games where UM scored a combined 34 first-quarter points and 32 in the second quarter.has been the catalyst for Montana’s offensive explosion, with the dual-threat QB rushing for a combined 181 yard and passing for 543 more.While the Griz hold a comfortable series lead, the overall tally between the two is much closer in the decades since joining the Big Sky Conference, with UM leading 30-24 since 1963.GAME OF STREAKS: Montana has had nine 3 game win streaks in the overall series, five six game win streaks, and two 10 game win streaks, including the longest streak in the series of 16 games between 1986-2001.Despite the extra juice heading into the rivalry week, Hauck and the Grizzlies are keeping as even-keeled as possible. My opinion is every time the Grizzlies play it’s a big game, so our preparation is uniform through the season, and it won’t differ any this week,” said Hauck.
The Montana State Bobcats enter the game also with a two-game win streak in hand, and the same 6-4 (4-3 BSC) record, with both teams needing a win to keep playoff hopes alive.LAST MEETING: Montana lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2002-03 in Bozeman last season when the Cats ran out to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter thanks to touchdowns from Troy Andersen and Nick La Sane, before finishing the half with a 21-13 lead.The 23-31 loss put an end to UM’s 7-4 season which saw the Griz go four-deep on the quarterback depth chart, keeping them out of the playoffs for a second-straight season. ” After a slew of upsets around the FCS last week, the Griz and Cats are each still in the mix for a playoff berth, despite having four losses each.IMPLICATIONS: Both Montana and Montana State enter the game in the same predicament when it comes to the 2018 postseason: Lose and go home. With three teams from the Big Sky Conference (#3/4 Weber State, #4/3 Eastern Washington, and #9/11 UC Davis) likely to earn a playoff spot (if not a first-round bye), the Griz will need some specific results to fall their way if they the league is to pick up an at-large bid.
Montana fans will want to keep a close eye on the Weber State (8-2) at Idaho State (6-4) game, with the Bengals needing a win to advance after getting upset at Cal Poly last week.North Dakota (6-4) also has a shot at an at-large bid if they defeat Northern Arizona (3-6) in Flagstaff this weekend.