Sept. 23, 2017 Montana 41, No. 11 Eastern Washington 48

Eastern Washington at Montana, Sept. 23, 6 p.m.:

Despite a multi-score halftime deficit, the Eagles rallied and scored 42 points in the second half to topple the Grizzlies, 48-41.

Newly-minted starting quarterback, redshirt freshman quarterback Gresch Jensen completed 25 of 49 passes for 358 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. On the ground, Jensen added nine carries for 45 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Leading the second-half charge for Eastern Washington was quarterback Gage Gubrud. The reigning Offensive Big Sky Player of the Week pulled no punches again, completing 44 of 65 passes for 549 yards with four touchdowns. Those 549 yards were a single-game school record for Eastern Washington. He also added 11 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

“We just didn’t get it done in the second half,” Tucker Schye said, shaking his head. "That's what it came down to." 

MISSOULA -- Montana reached its lowest polling position of the year, and the lowest placing since early November of last season when the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll was revealed Monday morning.

The Griz dropped for a second straight week and have fallen from 10th to No. 19 after back-to-back losses. Montana hasn't been so low since checking in at No. 22 following its Halloween loss at Portland State in 2015.

Montana (5-3) was ranked as high as sixth earlier this season.

The top five remain unchanged for a third week in a row with unbeaten Sam Houston State (8-0) continuing to hold the top spot. The Bearkats received 102 of the 142 first-place votes this week, though that number is down 18 firsts from last Monday.

Jacksonville State (7-1) is steady at No. 2 with Eastern Washington (7-1) a close No. 3. North Dakota State (7-1) follows at No. 4 with The Citadel (8-0) fifth.

Each of the top five teams received at least three first-place votes.

Richmond (7-1), James Madison (7-1) Charleston Southern (5-2), Chattanooga (8-1) and Villanova (8-2) round out the top 10.

The only top-10 team from last week to move downward is South Dakota State (5-3), which dropped from No. 7 to 13th after a loss to unranked Illinois State.

For a fifth straight poll, the Big Sky Conference has four teams in the top 25. For the first time, though, Montana is the lowest among them. One-sided losses to Northern Arizona (45-34) and Eastern Washington (35-16) have had a hand in that slide.

Behind EWU and ahead of the Griz this week are Cal Poly (6-2) and North Dakota (7-2). The Mustangs are steady in 14th place while the Fighting Hawks climbed one spot to No. 16 after their victory Saturday over Weber State, a team previously without a league loss.

Then comes Montana, which is currently way down in eighth in the Big Sky standings because of a 2-3 mark in conference games.

Weber State (5-3) drew a handful of votes and would sit 30th if the poll was extended out so far. Northern Arizona (4-4) and Southern Utah (4-4) also showed up on a few voters' ballots this week.

Montana's nonconference opponents Northern Iowa and Saint Francis also received a few votes to check into the also-ran category.

Be the first to know - Sign up for Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Load comments