Griz enter bye week with distinctly different confidence

MISSOULA, Montana — Following his team’s third straight score to take what seemed like a commanding 17-0 lead over the Grizzlies, Idaho State head coach Rob Phenicie did not want to give Montana any momentum.

Despite a 15-yard penalty on the host Griz following the touchdown that let the Bengals kick off from midfield, ISU kicker David Allish kicked the ball out of bounds two straight times. After each illegal procedure, Montana head coach Bobby Hauck called for Phenicie’s Idaho State team to kick it again.

It’s a testament to just how dangerous Montana is with its special teams. That added third phase alongside a defense that has been smothering against the run and an offense that has been tearing the league apart has the Grizzlies riding high entering their bye week this week.

“They are right there,” Phenicie, the offensive coordinator on seven straight Big Sky Conference championship teams between 2003 and 2009, said when asked how close Montana was to retaining that level following ISU’s 59-20 loss in Missoula on Saturday. Phenicie’s Bengals were outscored 59-3 over the final 42 minutes of action.

“They are clicking in all three phases. It’s scary to punt the ball to (senior) Jerry Louie-McGee. It’s scary to kick off to (sophomore) Malik Flowers. And they are dangerous on both sides of the ball.”


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