The University of Montana Grizzly football team began preparing for the 2015 season with spring drills starting March 9.
The Grizzlies took the practice field for the first time under new head football coach Bob Stitt. The drills run March 9 through March 26, and April 6-11, with a week off in between for spring break.
Montana will have two scrimmages and a spring game will conclude spring drills. The two scrimmages will be held in Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday, March 21 and on Thursday, March 26. Montana’s spring game will be held in conjunction with Carroll College, and that will be on Saturday, April 11, and starts at 1 p.m. at the Saints’ Nelson Field.
The Grizzles return 15 starters — two offensive players are starters from the 2013 season — from a team that went 9-5 overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky Conference and advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs for the second straight season.
With its nine victories last season, Montana has won eight or more games 19 of the last 21 seasons. The Grizzlies’ win at Southern Utah last year gave them their 27th winning season in the past 28 years.
Last season Montana extended its record number of appearances in the Division I-AA/FCS playoffs to 22. The Griz defeated visiting San Diego 52-14 in a first-round playoff game, and then lost 37-20 to host Eastern Washington in the second round.
A year ago, the Griz were ranked second in the nation in turnovers lost (11); third in turnover margin (+1.0 per game); fifth in fumbles lost (4); seventh in team sacks (3.29 pg); eighth in passes had intercepted (7).
The Grizzlies led the division in average attendance with 23,777 in seven home games. James Madison finished second, averaging 19,816 in six home games. Montana has averaged more than 22,000 fans a game in the last 12 seasons in a row (starting in 2003).
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