Griz-App. State Notes
THE GAME: The 9th/12th-ranked University of Montana Grizzlies are on the road this Saturday, Sept. 8, playing the 8th/11th-ranked Appalachian State Mountaineers (0-1) in ASU's Kidd Brewer Stadium (23,150), with kickoff slated for 4:30 p.m. (Mtn.).
GRIZ RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien calls the play-by-play for Griz football for the 20th season in a row. Former Griz (1991-94) wide receiver Scott Gurnsey and Greg Sundberg provide in-booth color. UM's flagship station is KGVO Radio, 1290 AM/KVWE 101.5 FM. (The entire 2012 Grizzly Football Radio Network is listed on add 6 of the weekly release).
TV: The UM-ASU game will be televised on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN3. Announcers: Dan Hammer (play-by-play), Tony Stein (color), and Danny Luetzen (sidelines).
THIRD MEETING: This will be the third time that the Griz play the Mountaineers, and the first time they have squared off in a regular-season contest. Those previous meetings: 2000: at Montana 19, Appalachian State 16-OT (FCS Semifinal) 2009: at Montana 24, Appalachian State 17 (FCS Semifinal).
GRIZ LAST WEEK (At Montana 35, South Dakota 24): The Grizzlies' two senior running backs rushed for more than 100 yards each, as the 10th/11th-ranked host Grizzlies defeated the Coyotes in the season opener for the teams. The Griz racked up a single-game record of 34 total first downs. Dan Moore had career-highs of 27 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown, while fellow UM senior halfback Peter Nguyen had 19 totes for 102 yards and a score.
Trent McKinney, a redshirt freshman, was solid in his first career start. 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. (Game story and stats on add 12-12-12 of the release).
Junior linebacker Jordan Tripp led the Griz defense with 10 tackles, and also had a sack and a forced fumble. Junior linebacker John Kanongata'a added 8 stops.
TRIPP HONORED: Tripp was named the Big Sky Conference's ROOT Sports co-Defensive Player of the Week for his game against USD. Tripp shared the award (his first) with Eastern Washington junior linebacker Ronnie Hamlin. Moore was the Grizzlies' nominee on offense, which was awarded to Cal Poly senior quarterback Andre Broadus.
10 FIRST-TIME STARTERS: Montana had 10 players have their first start last Saturday. OFFENSE: sophomore Mitch Saylor at wide receiver, sophomore OT Trevor Poole, senior guard Jake Hendrickson, and McKinney. DEFENSE: senior end Josh Harris, junior defensive tackle Alex Bienemann, sophomore tackle Tonga Takai, sophomore end Zach Wagenmann. sophomore cornerback Josh Dennard, and junior cornerback Sean Murray.
GRIZ IN OPENERS: Montana is now 68-42-2 all-time in season openers (since 1897) and 53-20-1 in season openers at home.
7 STARTERS/33 LETTERMEN BACK: The Grizzlies return just seven starters and 33 lettermen from a senior-laden team that posted an overall mark of 11-3, won the Big Sky Conference regular-season championship (7-1), and advanced to the FCS semifinals.
BIG SKY CHAMPS/PLAYOFFS AGAIN: Last year the Grizzlies won or shared their 16th Big Sky championship in the past 19 years. It was the 18th time in the last 19 years that Montana has participated in the national playoffs.
26 IN A ROW: Montana has had 26 winning seasons in a row, dating back to 1986.
PRESEASON HONORS: Junior offensive tackle Danny Kistler was named to The Sports Network's preseason All-American second team on offense. Senior tight end Greg Hardy and Kistler were named to the 2012 Big Sky preseason all-league team. UM had no players named to the defensive squad.