OGDEN, Utah — Turning over the ball in the red zone is a tough pill to swallow. So is coughing up the ball in the opponent's red zone.
Montana was in both of those scenarios multiple times on Saturday.
The Grizzly football team gave up five turnovers against Weber State, allowing the Wildcats to score 21 points off of those errors.
Here's a rundown of those turnovers:
Turnover No. 1: On third-and-9 at the Weber State 20-yard line, Montana quarterback Gresch Jensen stepped back to pass. Eyeing a receiver in the end zone, Weber State's Xequille Harry jumped out and picked off the pass.
Harry dashed down the field to return the ball 64 yards to the Montana 34-yard line. Eleven plays later, Weber State scored a touchdown.
Turnover No. 2: On the kickoff immediately following the result of turnover No. 1, Montana wide receiver/kick returner Kobey Eaton muffed the kickoff at the Montana 8-yard line. Weber State's Alema Key pounced on the ball to give the Wildcats the ball back.
One play later, Weber State scored a touchdown.
Turnover No. 3: At the Weber State 30-yard line, Weber State's Jordan Preator grabbed Jensen's second pick of the day. He didn't return the ball for any yards and Weber State didn't score off this Montana turnover, as there was just 27 seconds left before half.
Turnover No. 4: Montana had marched 60 yards down the field into the red zone. On second-and-goal from the Weber State 4-yard line, Jensen pitched the ball to Jeremy Calhoun. Calhoun dropped the ball and Weber State's Adam Rodriguez picked it up.
Weber State didn't score off this turnover either.
Turnover No. 5: Montana was deep in its own territory on third-and-12 at the 2-yard line. Jensen was back in the pocket inside the Montana end zone. He threw the ball straight to Preator, who returned the ball 23 yards for the pick-6.
Weber State didn't give up any turnovers, winning the turnover battle +5.
"We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot and kept burying ourselves a little bit more and a little bit more," Montana coach Bob Stitt said of the turnovers.
Montana lost two players due to ejection on Saturday, both coming as the result of targeting penalties.
In the beginning of the second quarter, safety Korey Alexander had a big hit on Weber State quarterback Stefan Cantwell on fourth-and-10. The referees immediately threw the flag and said Alexander led with the crown of his helmet, a sure-fire targeting penalty and ejection.
The penalty gave Weber State a fresh set of downs and the Wildcats capitalized, scoring a touchdown.
On the next true Weber State drive, Tucker Schye hit Cantwell hard too. After review, Schye was ejected for targeting as well. Weber State scored a touchdown several plays later on that drive.
There is, in the words of Keenan Curran, "a silver lining in the dark cloud."
Since the targeting penalties levied against Alexander and Schye came in the first half, they are eligible to play in the first half against Northern Arizona. If they were ejected in the second half of the game, they would have had to sit out in the first half against the Lumberjacks.
Jensen went down late in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a head injury, as it looked like his head bounced off the turf.
After laying on the turf for a while, he got up and jogged off the field, but he didn't come back into the game.
"It's not good he couldn't come back into the game," Stitt said. "You're very worried about your player that's laying on the ground and you gotta help your next guy get ready to roll and play some quarterback for us because we were still in a situation where if we go down and score, we have a chance to onside kick and get the ball and try to tie the thing up."
Curran added: "I was in, so I didn't really get to see it, but it is what it is. Can't make excuses. Can't blame it on anybody, but it sucks when your quarterback goes down like that and they get two penalties off of something similar. You take it and you move forward."