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Know Thy Enemy: Montana Grizzlies

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Who are these Grizzlies from The Treasure State?

Montana v Idaho Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

2019 record: 2-0 (0-0)

Key Numbers + Info (2019 season)

Head coach: Bobby Hauck

Conference: Big Sky

Ranking: 15th in FCS

OOC Opponents: South Dakota, North Alabama, Oregon, Monmouth

Points per game: 46

Points allowed per game: 17

Avg. yards per rush: 4.1

Avg. yards per rush allowed: 2.7

Avg. rush yards per game: 158.5

Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 81

Rushing TDs: 6 for, 0 against

Avg. pass yards per game: 361.5

Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 295.5

Passing TDs: 5 for, 4 against

Collective Pass Completion Rate: 68%

Collective Pass Completion Rate Against: 55%

Top rusher: Marcus Knight (26 carries for 136 yards and three TDs)

Top receiver: Samori Toure (16 receptions for 215 yards and one TD)

Top tackler: Robby Hauck (19 tackles, one tackle for loss)

Analysis

  • After two games (granted, against two schools barely fielding football teams), Montana is at a 54 to 46 pass to run ratio. Their opponents are at the same pace but they have run 41 less plays than the Grizzlies. Last season, they were 53 to 47 pass to run while their opponents were 55 to 45 run to pass.
  • This season, Montana has dominated their opponents in total yardage by a margin of 1,040 to 753. They have outgained their opponents by a margin of 723 to 591. The Grizzlies are allowing a paltry 2.7 rush yards per carry while rushing for 4.1 ypc themselves. Opponents are outdoing them in the per pass category, going for 8.6 to 7.9.
  • The third quarter is where they have scored the most points, scoring 38 points while their opponents scored just seven points. The second half is where Montana makes their money, scoring a combined 59 points while scoring 33 in the first half.

Key players to watch

1. Dalton Sneed 6’1 216 QB RS Senior

  • He has a pretty live arm given his size. Above average mobility in and out of the pocket. Has attempted a whopping 90 passes in two games, completing 67.5% of those for four touchdowns.

2. Samuel Akem 6’4 201 WR RS Junior

  • Catch radius is insane. Tall and long armed receiver that’s a key weapon for Sneed. Leads the team in yards per game and yards per reception.

Keys to an Oregon win

  • The LOS. Oregon needs to control the line of scrimmage with their powerful offensive line against the hybrid 3-3-5 / 4 man front defense that Montana runs. They just need to show up and out-talent their opponent on both sides of the line. A final decision on the right guard position would be great as the Ducks begin their conference schedule next week.
  • Marcus Arroyo. Last week’s play calling needs to happen on a more consistent basis. Most Ducks fans enjoyed the pedal to the metal for a full 60 minutes aggressiveness that defined the halcyon days of the Chip Kelly era. Arroyo needs to do this against better opponents instead of the lesser ones to prove that he is a capable offensive coordinator.
  • Secondary. Montana has passed the ball a ton during this young season, featuring two receivers that have gone for over 100 yards each. The secondary will have to lock things down in order to stifle the high powered passing attack of the Grizzlies. Montana has traditionally been one of the better FCS teams so it might be good test for the veteran Ducks’ secondary for at least a half.

Keys to an Oregon “loss”

  • Special teams. The Ducks special teams units have been an issue since the dawn of time. Last week, Nevada got a short field due to the punt return gunners not getting away from the ball once. It almost happened AGAIN in the same game as well. Not to mention the depth chart being an issue. The Ducks are solely reliant on a true freshman kicker after Zach Emerson got arrested and Adam Stack transferring. Coach Bobby Williams' unit has some room for improvement to say the least. At least the punter is reliable I guess. Montana’s return game is on point so kick coverage will be paramount.
  • Justin Herbert. Dude just doesn't have any consistency. He's either too "amped up" by his standards and throws high or is too down on himself and can't shake out of the doldrums. The lack of anticipatory throws will hurt him at the next level where the windows are much smaller. Either he learns how to throw those type of passes at some point in 2019-2020 or he turns into on field Jameis Winston. There's no in between. Mentally he's not ready.

What are the odds?

According to vegasinsider.com, the consensus between the sports books is that Oregon is 36.5 point favorites and the O/U is listed at 64.5. There is no money line

Draftkings has the same odds as listed above.