OGDEN, Utah — Montana shot itself in the foot and needed to stop the bleeding, but the No. 24 Grizzlies couldn't find a tourniquet.
It seemed that — in the first half — nothing could go right for Montana's football team.
Three-and-outs paired with short punts gave Weber State prime starting position on the field. Interceptions in the red zone didn't help either. Nor did a muffed kick return, two targeting ejection calls, other various penalties or a missed PAT.
The hole the Grizzlies dug themselves into in the first half was too big to overcome, and Weber State held on through a Grizzly comeback to win Saturday, 41-27.
"It seemed like little things here or there never allowed us to get into any rhythm," Montana coach Bob Stitt said. "I felt like if we could stop the bleeding at some point, we would have a chance to come back.
"It just felt like it was snowballing. Anything that could have happened bad was gonna happen."
At halftime, Montana was trailing by 28 points and had just 142 yards with three turnovers.
The only score on the board for the Grizzlies came from quarterback Gresch Jensen, who faked a handoff and ran around the left side to break the plane.
After halftime though, the Grizzlies came out a new team.
The Wildcats (6-2, BSC 4-1) opened the third quarter with two consecutive three-and-outs, aided by big sacks by Chris Favoroso and Josh Buss.
On Weber State's opening drive of the second half, on second-and-7, Favoroso dropped Wildcat quarterback Stefan Cantwell for a loss of 14.
Montana (5-3, 3-2) followed up that drive with a three-and-out of its own.
Weber's ensuing drive was cut short when Josh Buss came around the right side as Cantwell scrambled away. Buss was too fast and pounced on Cantwell for a loss of 12.
"Their tackles got out really fast," Buss said. "I just kind of came on the edge and kept coming. The front side had pressure. I believe it was Chris (Favoroso) made him scramble out and I was coming all the way around. Everything goes back to Coach (Jason) Semore with the scheme and the play calling. He timed it up right."
Montana scored on its following possession as Jensen aired it out to Jeremy Calhoun for a 12-yard score.
The Griz defense stood tall again on the next drive, thanks to another sack by Buss.
At that point, Montana had the opportunity to make the score 34-20, but another costly turnover in the red zone by Jeremy Calhoun left the Griz empty handed for the rest of the period.
Once the fourth quarter rolled around, Jensen made quick business to put Montana down by two scores.
On second-and-13, Jensen airmailed to to Samori Toure for an 81-yard score. That pass was Jensen's longest of the season.
But the next drive didn't fair so well.
Jensen threw his third pick of the day to Weber State's Jordan Preator, who returned it 23 yards to put the Wildcats up by three touchdowns. With 8:28 left on the clock, Montana still had time for a miraculous comeback.
They'd get close, but wouldn't seal the deal.
The next time the ball was in Cooper Sprunk's hands, Montana pieced together an 80-yard drive, scoring on a 38-yard touchdown from Jensen to Jerry Louie-McGee.
The Montana defense still held strong, forcing yet another Weber State punt to give the Grizzly offense the ball back with 3:32 left on the clock.
On a second-and-4 play at the Montana 15 yard line, Jensen was brought down hard after throwing an incomplete pass. It took him a while to get back up.
He was done for the day, finishing with 347 yards passing on 21 of 42 passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions. On the ground, Jensen had 23 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
In came second-string quarterback Caleb Hill. Hill's first snap came on third-and-4, where he dashed around the field for a 6-yard gain and a first down.
"It's a tough situation to be thrown into and he's always prepared," Stitt said of Hill. "He's always listening to what I'm talking to Gresch with and what calls are and he's understanding where we are needing to go with the ball and what they're trying to do defensively. I thought he did as well as he could possibly do."
Hill then passed to Josh Horner, connecting for 19 yards. Hill then ran for another six yards on the next play before finding Horner again for a 29-yard gain to get into the Weber State red zone.
A sack pushed the Grizzlies back, but Montana still refused to give up. It was too late. Hill threw an incomplete pass, handed it off to Jeremy Calhoun for a 10-yard gain and a holding call on Weber State delayed the inevitable before Montana turned the ball over on downs.
Curran was Montana's leading receiver with 97 yards on five catches. Jeremy Calhoun led all rushers with 66 yards on 17 attempts. On the defensive side of the ball, Connor Strahm and James Banks had 10 tackles apiece, while Josh Buss knotted up 4 1/2 tackles for loss.
Montana next faces Northern Arizona in the friendly confines of Washington-Grizzly Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.