The Champs are coming to town
Here is Wednesday’s Griz Tracks about Eastern Washington, 0-2 but still ranked No. 10, and still the national champion for the FCS as it heads into Saturday’s game at Washington Grizzly Stadium (1:05 p.m. kickoff).
You’d probably feel better about an 0-2 opponent if a) you hadn’t lost three pretty dang good secondary players (Jimmy Wilson, Erik Stoll and Brandon Dodson) and b) Eastern QB Bo Levi Mitchell wasn’t throwing the heck out of it. As in, 129 passes in two games, for a total of 842 yards.
Still, to say Eastern would be the same team without two of the finest football players you could see at this level — running back Taiwan Jones, now with the Oakland Raiders, and J.C. Sherritt, the graduated with the Buck Buchanan Award — would be a stretch. But the Eagles at their lowest point were usually a good match for the Grizzlies, and have more success against UM than any other Big Sky Conference school. It should be a great ball game.
Montana will see if Jordan Johnson continues to evolve at QB. I have a hunch the answer is yes, partly because of something I failed to mention before in print: That was a heck of a hit he took in the first half last week against Cal Poly, on a “free play” where the Mustangs were offsides. He got the wind knocked out of him, missed one play, came back and ran for a first down, but only had 35 passing yards by halftime. That total and that hit might not be unrelated.
Also possibly related: That streaker and Cal Poly’s failure on a second-quarter drive. The Mustangs had third-and-8 when our naked University of Montana undergrad appeared; they had a little extra time to see UM’s defensive personnel — among other things — and went long (no pun intended). Andre Broadous threw incomplete.