A determined Montana Grizzlies team clawed its way to a historic 13-7 win over a punch-less Washington Huskies team Saturday night in front of a bewildered Husky Nation.
Playing in front of a crowd for the first time in two years the Husky offense play to the crowd and scored on the game’s opening drive. A nine-play 78-yard drive that was capped by a Dylan Morris one-yard drive. Unfortunately for 64,000 plus Husky fans in attendance that would be it for the Huskies offense. The Washington Huskies played one bad first half and things got worse from there.
Husky placekicker Peyton Henry was wide right on a 49-field goal attempt in the second quarter and the Husky offense averaged a mere 2.4 yards per rush attempt and finished the half with just 40 rushing yards. This is from a team that was supposed to have a top ten offensive line. The Huskies finished the half with 179 total yards. Husky quarterback Dylan threw the first of his three interceptions just before halftime fortunately for Husky Nation Montana was unable to capitalize.
The Grizzles finished the half with 89 total yards and more devastating five penalties for 61 yards and 0- 6 on third downs. As bad as they played the Grizzlies went into the half down just 7-3. Both teams had reason to believe they were headed for victory.
SECOND HALF BELIEF
The belief that they would win the game looked like utter foley as the second half saw the visiting Grizzlies start the second half with a three and out offensive possession. The Huskies play gracious host and punted the ball back to the Grizzlies. The game saw five consecutive punts to start the second half. The punt gate was interrupted by a second Morris interception with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. A second bite at the cherry saw Montana convert the Morris interception into a 10 play 69 drive that ended with a yard TD run by quarterback Cam Henry. With 10:35 left in the game, the Grizzlies had that certain glim in their eye.
INABILITY TO MUSTER KNOCK OUT PUNCH
The Huskies on the other hand a look in their eyes as well but unfortunately for Husky Nation it was more a glare of being dazed and confused. After the Grizzlies took the lead, the Huskies punted the ball back to the Grizzlies after an unthinkable three and out offensive series. Feeling some kind of way about themselves the Grizzles devoured what was left of the cherry and took the lead for good at 13-7 courtesy of an 11 play 42-yard drive that chewed up 6:05 seconds of clock time.
The Huskies looked like they had cleared their heads and were on the way to a crowd-pleasing game-winning drive when they started the next offensive series from the UW 32-yard line with 1:12 left in the game. Five players later a mortified Husky crowd saw Morris throw his third interception of the game with 31 seconds left in the game.
WHAT DID WE SEE?
Not much imagination from Husky offensive coordinator Jon Donovan. Yes, the Huskies were without wide receivers Terrell Bynum and Jalen Macmillan who were both on the sideline but not dressed. The exclusion on the wideouts would lead one to think the Huskies would throw to their tight ends. Cade Otton led all receivers with 8 receptions for 82 yards but no touchdowns. The Huskies had three big plays of 15 plus yards and two of those went to Otton. What happened to this combination in the red zone?
NO RUSHING ATTACK
The vaunted Husky rushing attack had 65 total yards. The biggest rushing plays were 13 and 12 yards. Former Rick Neuheisel assistant and current Grizzlies coach Bobby Hauck used multiple blitzes and rushing stunts to confuse the UW lineman on passing and rushing sequences. The bottom line is the Huskies were never able to win the battles in the trenches. A good team playing a so-called lesser opponent should with the run or pass battle and built upon that advantage and wear down the opponent Neither one of those things happened last night