Griz dominate final three quarters in 59-20 win over Idaho State

MISSOULA, Montana — For about 45 minutes on Saturday afternoon, it looked like the former pupils might thrash their former mentor. 

As Montana quarterback Dalton Sneed stood on the sideline throwing the ball gingerly and appearing to favor his throwing (right) arm, things looked bleak for a Griz team celebrating its 100th homecoming game against Idaho State. 

The Bengal offense, coordinated by former Montana All-Big Sky wide receiver Mike Ferriter, had its way offensively for the first 20 minutes of game action in front of 25,203 on this damp Missoula afternoon. Idaho State quarterback Matt Struck found whatever he wanted out of the slot, hitting senior speedster Mikey Dean repeatedly as ISU ended the first quarter ahead 10-0. 

On the second play of the second quarter, ISU senior Ty Flanagan juked, spun and sprinted his way to a 71-yard touchdown that put Idaho State in full control. As the television camera flashed to the sideline to show the reaction of ISU head coach Rob Phenicie, the former UM offensive coordinator oozed exuberance as the scoreboard read 17-0. 

But Phenicie, who served as current UM head coach Bobby Hauck’s offensive coordinator at Montana and UNLV from 2003 until 2014, and Ferriter, who coached at his alma mater for three seasons before taking over at ISU as the OC before last season, could not muster much magic after Flanagan’s scoring jaunt.

Sophomore safety Robby Hauck destroyed Struck on a safety blitz that through the Idaho State quarterback into a tailspin. Sneed shook off whatever ailed his rifle of a right arm and settled in on the way to a historic offensive outburst. And No. 8 Montana raced to a 59-20 homecoming victory to enter next week’s bye 5-1 overall and 2-0 in Big Sky Conference play. 

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