TIWIW for Weber; Wow, and a look at WOU
For example: That first touchdown pass to Peter Nguyen. The screen play has been off and on over the years for the Griz, but this 31-yarder was definitely on. Mitch Saylor made a nice block and Nguyen had the gigantic Danny Kistler, Jr., out front – but Kistler found nobody to hit. It was that open.
“I looked to the right and came back to Peter (underneath) and it was wide open,” said quarterback Jordan Johnson, the co-offensive player of the week in the Big Sky. “I knew as soon as I threw it, it was going to be a touchdown.”
Another example was the way the Griz defense bottled up a Weber State running game that had been excellent coming in. The Wildcats ran for just 94 yards.
Among the things we didn’t get in Sunday’s Missoulian:
a) That Weber State receiver Xavian Johnson was OK, though he went to the hospital for a battery of tests after a fourth-quarter hit by UM’s Caleb McSurdy.
b) Weber’s receivers didn’t do first-time starter Jordan Adamczyk any favors with four dropped passes.
c) That Jabin Sambrano could’ve had the record all to himself. The senior, who tied UM’s single-game record with four TD catches, had a pretty good throw from Johnson zip through his hands on UM’s second scoring drive. Moments later Johnson — who had easily his most impressive game — hit Josh Dennard for Dennard’s first TD as a Grizzly.
d) Special teams continue to confound, as in back-to-back blocked punts by Weber State late. The Wildcats loaded up the left side of the line all afternoon, said defensive end Trevor Pletcher, who had one of the blocks:
“We were just watching their punt over and over and found things they were doing wrong. And we put me and Caldwell (Taylor, who also had a block) on the one edge and knew we could run stunts on the one wing. We just kept doing it and kept doing it, and I guess it paid off in the end.”
Looking ahead to Division II Western Oregon, the 6-3 Wolves are pretty danged good. They beat Central Washington14-7 earlier this year, getting 117 rushing yards from none other than former Griz Cody VonAppen, a backup QB. The win snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Wildcats. Central Washington came back with a 41-10 win over WOU more recently.
One other piece of trivia: Dennis and Doug Lulay, the father and uncle of former Bobcat QB Travis Lulay, both played atWestern Oregon. Uncle Doug holds the school record for rushing TDs in one game with five.
It should be an entertaining game, and the Griz had better come prepared (and kickoff is still 1:05 p.m. for this November game). Central Washingtonwas no easy mark in 2008.