By Mick Holien
When the Grizzlies arrive in Utah Friday coaches and players will encounter unfamiliar confines at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.
But while Bob Stitts entourage are in but their third year that’s not why the Wasatch Mountains that loom over the field appear alien.
The University of Montana hasn’t faced Weber State on the road for five years.
Fourth year head coach Jay Hill looks to have his team finely positioned for a run for the chipper.
The pair of nationally ranked teams also are tied in the Big Sky Conference race winners of three of their first four games.
Montana has dominated the series between the pair of charter league members 40-14 and in Ogden capturing 18 of 25 contests but the Grizzlies often have struggled here.
The Wildcats lost here by but a field goal 24-21 in 2012 and claimed a 30-21 victory on this field in 2010 both under first year coaches Robin Pflugrad and Mick Delaney.
Weber prevailed in OT the last matchup in Missoula in 2015.
A look at the stats make the Wildcats appear imposing to say the least
They lead the league in total and rushing D as well as scoring and red zone defense.
But check out these red zone stats – Weber leads the nation in red zone defense and the Grizzlies pace the country in red zone offense.
The Cats had four sacks and a quartet of turnovers in a road win at Cal Poly Saturday while holding the Mustangs to just 73 aerial yards while the Grizzlies are coming off the bye week after a pair of all-important road wins among the three-game win streak.
Needless to say it promises to be a pivotal game with playoff indications for both teams.
Weber’s QB senior Stefan Cantwell returns after completing concussion examination and averages leads a balanced attack throwing just a bit more than they run.
But the Wildcats have allowed but 23 points in their trio of circuit wins against a Montana O that averages about 40 and outing.
To add to Montana’s challenges the 1987 Wildcat team, the first to win 10 games and advance to the playoffs will be honored at halftime with the Wildcats honoring their achievements by wearing the same configuration on their helmets.
Current Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino was on the staff of Mike Price, who later coached another WSU, Washington State.
Just a little extra Weber incentive