BY MICK HOLIEN
The Fashion Police would have been pleased in Missoula Saturday as not only did University of Montana athletic promotions folks encourage fans to participate in a rite of fall by wearing all white but the Grizzlies also debuted new all-white road unis.
And after a less than stellar first half Montana got the season’s train rollin’ and posted a workman’s-like second half hour to pull away from outmanned Valpariaso 45-23.
So with the ranked Huskies of Washington waiting in the Emerald City Saturday’s ending score appeared about as predicted but the Indiana squad, eventually probably affected by heat and depth, gave no quarter and looked anything but a bottom rung Pioneer League outfit.
UM senior quarterback Reese Phillips finally shook off nearly five years of dust by approaching a 400-yard day, misfiring on just 11 of 38 tosses and throwing for four scores to, lend credibility to head Coach Bob Stitt’s starter choice.
But so what about this all-white thing on this Saturday a couple of days short of Labor Day.
Long heralded as one of those iron clad fashion rules – and you just know IMO would be up to speed on those – beginning early in the 1900s, donning white clothing after Labor Day was just plain taboo.
Celebrated on the first September Monday the national holiday was created by Labor in a tribute of workin’ folk’s achievement.
Over 100 years ago, Peter McQuire of the Brotherhood of Carpenrters and joiners is credited with the suggestion but it is disputed as some say a Mathew Macguire deserved recognition.
First celebrated in 1882, the celebration was centered on the first September Monday a couple of years later.
Now you are filled with background, how about Phillips, a Tennessee native who transferred here from Kentucky
He utilized a full compliment in finding seven different receivers with Jerry Louie McGee pacing the field with nine catches for 159 yards, 63 on a single
play, and a pair of scores.
Certainly also not to be overlooked was the field flipping foot of Eric Williams who averaged better than 53 yards on four punts.
Pace was one of the items I found lacking as only on a single drive in the first half did the Grizzlies seem to have it their way. They were consistent in most other areas but ran but 76 plays about a fourth less than Stitt would desire.