It had to end sometime, didn't it? Longtime Northern Arizona coach Jerome Souers came into Saturday 0-14 all-time against Montana. But he finally got his first win over the Griz with a 41-31 win at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
With five takeaways and a dominant performance by running back Zach Bauman, the Lumberjacks came away victorious against Montana for the first time since 1997.
Here are my weekly post-game thoughts, this time from today's game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium:
- PLAYER OF THE GAME: Zach Bauman, NAU RB -- Who else? Bauman opened the game with a 75-yard TD burst on the first snap from scrimmage and continued from there. Bauman finished with a career-high 253 yards and three total touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter. In his last three games against Montana, Bauman combined for more than 500 rushing yards and five TDs.
- TURNING POINT: The Grizzlies were in control ... until they started turning the ball over. QB Trent McKinney threw three interceptions and Dan Moore lost two fumbles, which led to NAU erasing a 17-point deficit. Montana held the ball for just 9:25 of the second half, and couldn't sustain drives.
- QUOTABLE: "Every loss hurts. It's kind of like the Sac State game last year. We've got to bounce back. We've got to take that it and put inside and have a burning desire not to ever feel that again. It's what we did last year and we're going to try to do it this year." -- Montana RB Dan Moore.
- WHAT IT MEANS: At least we won't have to talk about Souers' losing streak to the Grizzlies anymore. Beyond that, Montana needs to go back to the drawing board to see if they can put together a much better performance next week on the road at Eastern Washington. Suddenly, the EWU game is a must-win for the Griz.