MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- Two Montana football players set school
records and two others had career bests in the Grizzlies' 36-7
victory over South Dakota State Saturday afternoon.
Quarterback Cole Bergquist, who started the final eight games
last season, was in for the injured Josh Swogger. He completed 22
of 35 passes for a career-high 257 yards and a touchdown and rushed
for another 32 yards.
"Cole played his best game as a Grizzly today as far as
decision making goes," said Montana coach Bobby Hauck.
Bergquist, a sophomore, said the coaches told him Sunday that
there was a good chance he'd play against South Dakota State.
Swogger practiced Wednesday with a bandage on his left
(non-throwing) hand. School officials wouldn't comment on the
injury, or the apparent knee injury to punter Tyson Johnson, and
closed practice both Thursday and Friday. The school then announced
it would no longer release any information on player injuries.
"Being a coach, I don't believe anything another coach says, so
we expected Bergquist to play," said South Dakota State coach John
Stiegelmeier. "Then we came out and saw Swogger in blue jeans."
Dan Carpenter kicked a school record five field goals and three
extra points. He also took over punting duties for Johnson. He
threw a pass on one fake punt, ran for 45 yards on another with
less than a minute to play and actually punted once for 41 yards.
Cornerback Tuff Harris set a school record with 142 yards on
five punt returns, including a 51-yarder. The old mark was 139
yards set by Levander Segars in 2003.
"Setting a school record for punt returns is a credit to him
and a credit to the guys who blocked for him," Hauck said.
Reggie Bradshaw made his first career start at UM, running for
77 yards and two touchdowns, the first giving the sixth-ranked
Grizzlies a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
"Reggie did a nice job," Hauck said. "He showed some bursts
last week, but he looked better this week."
Cory Koenig rushed 14 times for 93 yards for the Jackrabbits
(0-2), including the team's only touchdown -- a 2-yard run with 4:56
left in the first quarter to tie the score at 7.
Carpenter hit a 36-yard field goal with 2:18 left in the first
quarter to give Montana the lead for good at 10-7.
Bergquist hit Ryan Bagley for a 3-yard TD pass to give Montana a
17-7 lead with 6:07 left in the half. Bagley caught nine passes for
Carpenter's field goal with 1:08 left in the half put Montana up
Bradshaw ran for his second touchdown, a 15-yarder, with 10:53
left in the third to put UM up 27-7. The score was set up when
Harris returned a punt 25 yards to the 50-yard line.
Carpenter, who also kicked three extra points, scored the rest
of the points for the Grizzlies for a total of 18. Eric Allen had
career-highs with seven catches for 101 yards.
Montana held South Dakota State to just 60 yards and four first
downs in the second half as the reserves saw some playing time.
"It was good because we got to play everybody, which is
great," Hauck said. "Those guys have worked really hard since
last January and it was good to see them all get some reps."
Hauck still saw room for improvement.
"Kickoff coverage wasn't good enough. Kickoff return wasn't
good enough. Rushing defense wasn't good enough. Red zone offense
wasn't good enough. The score was good enough."
South Dakota State quarterback Andy Kardoes completed 10-of-30
passes for 101 yards and ran four times for another 25 yards. Micah
Johnson caught four passes for 38 yards while JaRon Harris caught
two passes for 38 yards.
Stiegelmeier wasn't happy with Montana's late fake punt, saying
"we would never do that."
"We had a chance on third down to run the clock out," Hauck
said. "They chose to take a time out. So I decided they must want
to play a little more."