MISSOULA — Joshua Dennard’s rise from stagehand to starring role would make a good movie.
It’s been eight months since the Montana football program incurred a checklist of self-imposed NCAA penalties that included a loss of scholarships, but the issue might not be settled.
Mick Delaney saw the handwriting on the wall. He knew that if the Montana Grizzlies won more games this season, his contract situation would work itself out.
BOZEMAN — The Montana Grizzlies never wavered in the face of the turmoil, hardship and difficulty they experienced on and off the field in 2012.
Montana State must beat Montana for any chance to extend its season with a playoff berth. And even then it’s not a given.
Mick Delaney was adamant. Montana’s second-year coach didn’t want to talk this week about Robin Pflugrad, the controversy surrounding his firing a year and a half ago, nor his return to Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday. Said Delaney:
Vernon Adams is the biggest star in the Big Sky Conference. And he shined brightly again Saturday in Eastern Washington’s 54-29 dismantling of Montana State.
It’ll be a bigger deal when Robin Pflugrad returns to Missoula later this season, but even Bobcats coach Rob Ash said there will be an interesting dynamic with Pflugrad on the other side of the field Saturday when MSU takes on Weber State.
It’s too early to crown Griz quarterback Jordan Johnson the most valuable player in the Big Sky Conference (see: Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams). But Johnson’s importance to Montana is clear-cut.
It started Thursday night in Bozeman, with Montana State racing to a 36-point halftime lead in a stirring victory over Monmouth.
My first thought from Montana's season-opening 30-6 victory over Appalachian State? Wow. I had a feeling the Griz would win tonight, but I did not expect them to dismantle the No. 12 team in the country the way they did.
MISSOULA -- Cohesiveness can’t kick a field goal or catch a pass across the middle.
MISSOULA — The numbers were dizzying, really. But not in a good way.
MISSOULA — Through thick and thin, Jordan Johnson has stayed with the Montana football team.
Right now the Cats and Griz are hard at work in fall camp, prepping for their respective season openers on Aug. 29 and 31. And there are plenty of storylines.
Sonny Lubick spent more than 40 years coaching football, from humble beginnings at Butte High in the mid-1960s to national prestige at Colorado State in the 1990s and 2000s.
Together, they’ve taken a lot of the heat for the NCAA’s investigation into the University of Montana football program.
MISSOULA — No more waiting and wondering for the Montana football program.
So the NCAA finally (finally) levied its punishment on the Montana football program today, which meant an official end to the investigation(s). Twenty months after this saga began, the NCAA handed down a number of sanctions concurrent with self-imposed punishments the athletic department laid out.
The University of Montana football program will serve three years on probation and vacate five wins, including one against Montana State University and two playoff victories, as punishment for violating several NCAA rules governing student-athletes.