Experienced offense leads Griz into spring game

2014-04-11T18:46:00Z 2014-04-12T00:09:07Z Experienced offense leads Griz into spring gameGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
April 11, 2014 6:46 pm  • 

Montana’s annual spring football will be held Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

With quarterback Jordan Johnson returning for his senior season, the Grizzlies’ offense is in good hands. Montana also returns its top four running backs from last season, including 1,000-yard rusher Jordan Canada, and Travon Van (523 yards, 6 TDs).

The Grizzlies ranked third in the Big Sky Conference in rushing last season with more than 185 yards per game.

Running backs coach Justin Green, who rushed for more than 1,700 yards in two seasons as a player at UM (2003-04), loves the look of his group, which also includes Joey Counts, John Nguyen and up-and-comer Treshawn Favors.

"I consider myself lucky with the group that I have," Green said. "Really we have five guys who could start in our conference, which is to me, not only really exciting, but also a good problem to have."

For the 2014 season, the Grizzlies are bringing back 94 percent of their total offensive yardage output from last year, and 86 percent of their touchdowns. Johnson threw for 3,387 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2013.

"The more that I am around Jordan Johnson the more I appreciate the type of quarterback that he is," coach Mick Delaney said. "His demeanor, when you watch how he operates both physically and mentally at that position, is just outstanding.”

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