Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Aggie Football Takes on Division I Montana By Justine Gaskamp on 09/19/2013 Goodwell, Okla.—The Oklahoma Panhandle State University Aggie football team loaded up the busses and were Montana-bound before the sun came up on Goodwell Thursday morning.
The Aggies (1-2) are in the midst of another long road trip to take on yet another Division I opponent; this time against FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) and Big Sky Conference powerhouse the University of Montana Grizzlies. With the Grizzlies currently ranked 9th/11th (The Sports Network & FCS Coaches' polls) and sitting undefeated thus far, the Aggies will find themselves up against a team unlike any other they have faced in an atmosphere unlike any other they have seen. Washington-Grizzly Stadium is as intimidating a place for visiting teams as they come with very enthusiastic fans and extreme noise levels to contend with.
That being said, our Aggies know what they are up against and have been preparing all week and will approach this game as they would any other; with intensity, emotion, and team unity. The Aggie offense will be led by quarterback Caleb Holbrook who is currently averaging 148.3 passing yards per game and 34.3 rushing yards per game. Receivers Tim Hollingshed and Rickey Backstrom might see limited action as the running game is sure to be a strong focus. On the ground Chris McClendon has been clutch this season leading the team with 246 total yards and making an impact on special teams as well. For the running game to be successful the offensive line will need to perform and with leadership from seniors Marcus Dimando and Cameron Hickey they certainly have a strong foundation to build on.
Defensively speaking the Aggies will have their work cut out for them as the Grizzlies have converted 72% (18-of-25) of their third down attempts, which currently leads the nation. Forcing turnovers and stopping the Grizzlies early will be key in this match-up. With weapons like defensive end Glenn Bonner, linebacker Andrew Dougherty, safety Xazier Murry, and corner Jamel Major lining up for the Aggies the defense has a good chance of accomplishing just that. Dougherty and Bonner account for a combined three sacks; Major has brought in two interceptions, and Murry shows 11 total tackles and one fumble recovery.
Some may consider this an uneven match-up when judging by stats alone, but when you compare the determination, heart, and passion that each team brings; the Aggies can stand with the best of them.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Missoula, Mont which will make for a 2 p.m. local start time. Aggie fans can tune into the game with live video coverage available at www.gogriz.com.