Dan Moore rushed for 148 yards in the win over USD
Sept. 1, 2012
The University of Montana Grizzlies' two senior running backs rushed for more than 100 yards each, as the 10th/11th-ranked host Grizzlies defeated the University of South Dakota Coyotes 35-24 in the season opener for the teams Saturday afternoon in front of 25,156 partisan fans in UM's Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Dan Moore had career-highs of 27 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown, while fellow UM senior halfback Peter Nguyenhad 10 totes for 192 yards and a score. The Grizzlies picked up a school-record 34 first downs in the win.
The Grizzlies (1-0) dominated the Coyotes in total yards (568 to 233) and first downs (34 to 9), but found themselves in an eight point (24-16) deficit mid-way through the third quarter.
Montana led 16-10 at halftime, but the Coyotes, coached by former (2000-02) Griz mentor Joe Glenn, scored back-to-back touchdowns in a little more than a minute to take a 24-16 lead at the 9:47 mark of the third stanza.
On its first play of the third period quarterback Josh Vander Maten hit fellow sophomore Terrance Terry for an 80-yard downtown bomb, giving USD a 17-16 edge. Just a few plays later safety Charlie Goro picked off a Trent McKinneypass and returned it 50 yards for another score to give the visitors the 24-16 advantage.
The Grizzlies quickly regained the momentum, though with a bit of trickery, as on the their next series senior tight end Greg Hardy connected with senior wide receiver Bryce Carverfor a 39-yard touchdown, and UM cut the USD lead to 24-22 with 7:11 left in the third.
Two series after Hardy's first career pass attempt and subsequent TD, the Grizzlies scored back-to-back touchdowns thanks to two straight USD turnovers.
The first USD mistake came when junior linebacker John Kanongata'apicked off a Vander Maten pass and the Griz took possession of the ball on the Coyotes' 34-yard line. Two runs by Nguyen picked up 20 yards, and then after that Moore broke free for a 14-yard scoring jaunt, and Montana led 28-24 with 4:49 remaining in the third stanza and would lead the rest of the way.
The Griz added an insurance score when sophomore defensive end Tonga Takairecovered a Coyote fumble on the USD 13-yard line. Three plays later Nguyen scored on a 3-yard run with 3:25 left in the third, in what proved to be the final points of the game.
Montana took an early 10-0 lead on a 21-yard field goal by redshirt freshman kicker Chris Lider and a 4-yard scoring pass from McKinney to senior wide receiver Sam Gratton. USD then cut the UM lead to 10-3 on a field goal by Kevin Robb with 10:33 left in the second quarter.
The Griz took a 16-3 lead on an 18-yard scoring strike from McKinney to junior wide receiver Cam Warren(his first career TD) with 6:08 left until intermission. An 8-yard Vander Maten to Terry pass made it 16-10 Grizzlies at the break.
The USD pick for a touchdown was one of the few mistakes that McKinney, a redshirt freshman in his first start, would make in the contest. The 6-0, 205-pounder from Mililani, Hawaii, was 26-of-32-1 (81.3%) for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and he also rushed 13 times for 65 yards.
Gratton and sophomore wide-out Sean Hayneshad a game-high 5 receptions each, while Carver and Nguyen had 4 grabs each. Warren had 3 grabs for 41 yards and a score.
The Griz racked up 315 yards rushing on 64 carries; ran 98 plays; had a 11-minute (35:57 to 23:03) edge in time of possession, to go along with their single-game record of 34 total first downs.
Junior linebacker Jordan Tripp led the Griz defense with 10 tackles, and also had a sack and a forced fumble. Kanongata'a added 8 stops, while senior linebacker Josh Stubergadded 6 tackles. UM's "D" held USD to 233 total yards (61 rushing) and 9 first downs.
Vander Maten was 12-of-19-1 for 172 yards and two TDs. USD sophomore linebacker Kyle Guziec had a game-high 15 tackles.
Montana plays sixth-ranked Appalachian State next Saturday, Sept. 8, in a 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) game in Boone, North Carolina. The Mountaineers lost 35-13 at FBS member East Carolina today (Sept. 1) in front of 49,023 fans, but ASU and out-gained ECU 419 to 390 in total offense.
USD hosts Colgate on Sept. 8.
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