3:05 PM ET, October 28, 2006
Washington-Grizzly Stadium, MISSOULA, MT
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- Torrey Thomas returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown with 33 seconds remaining, capping Montana's outstanding defensive effort in a 23-10 victory over Idaho State Saturday afternoon.
Montana (7-1, 6-0 Big Sky), ranked second in NCAA Division I-AA, held Idaho State to just 92 yards in total offense -- 46 passing and 46 rushing -- and seven first downs. The Bengals (2-6, 1-4) went into the game averaging 404.6 yards in total offense -- best in the league and eighth in I-AA.
"That's as great a defensive effort that has maybe ever been put forward in our football stadium," said Montana coach Bobby Hauck.
However, the offense had to settle for five field goal attempts, connecting on three of them.
"We never really got going today," quarterback Josh Swogger said. "Last week we were hitting on all cylinders, but this week we were just inches away from making some great catches. That's a credit to them."
Brady Green had 23 carries for 108 yards and Reggie Bradshaw scored a touchdown for the seventh game in a row. Dan Carpenter connected on field goals of 21, 40 and 41 yards while attempts from 33 and 42 yards were blocked by Geo Simmons.
"I got a hand on both field goals," Simmons said. "The way we were lined up kind of confused them. I just got good gaps to go through."
Hauck said the Grizzlies weren't prepared for the lineups ISU had on special teams.
"They had a couple wrinkles in that we hadn't seen on tape," Hauck said.
Montana opened the scoring with a 21-yard field goal by Carpenter with 10:00 left in the first quarter.
Pogo Togafau blocked a Carpenter punt, giving the Bengals the ball on the Montana 10. Two plays later Idaho State took a 7-3 lead on a 4-yard run by Josh Barnett at the 6:47 mark. A 40-yard field goal by Carpenter pulled the Grizzlies within 7-6 with 3:31 left in the first quarter.
Simmons blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt by Carpenter with 13:20 left in the half. But on the next play, Dustin Dlouhy forced Barnett to fumble and Montana took over at the ISU 20. Three plays later the Grizzlies took their first lead, 13-7, on a 7-yard TD run by Bradshaw with 11:47 left in the half.
"We've been talking all week about trying to play a full game," said Dlouhy, who had five tackles, including two sacks. "We haven't put together a game all year long where we played four strong quarters. Today is something we're really proud of."
UM led 16-7 at halftime after Carpenter's 41-yard field goal at the 6:53 mark.
Montana fumbled the opening kickoff in the second half, giving the ball to the Bengals at the UM 24. Four plays later Jones kicked a 38-yard field goal to pull ISU within 16-10 with 12:55 left in the third quarter.
"I'm extremely proud of the effort our kids gave today," said Idaho coach Larry Lewis. "I felt our kids came into this game and really believed in each other."
Neither team scored for the next 27 minutes until Thomas grabbed the interception.
"We didn't perform well enough today to complement how our defense played," said ISU quarterback Matt Gutierrez, a Michigan transfer. He completed just 9-of-25 passes for 46 yards -- 198 yards below his league-leading average. He ran for another 27 yards.
"They were getting after us pretty hard," said Gutierrez, who was sacked four times. "They seemed to have some good defenses called at certain times that worked well against what we had called."
Barnett had 10 carries for 22 yards -- 101 below his league-leading average. Akilah Lacey, who averages 93 yards receiving, had one catch for 11 yards for the Bengals.
Swogger completed 15 of 30 passes for 157 yards for Montana. His leading receiver was Mike Ferriter with four catches for 62 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-14||5-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-2|
|FG||10:00||DAN CARPENTER 21 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 32 yards.
|TD||6:47||JOSH BARNETT 4 YD RUN (BRANDEN JONES KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 11 yards.
|FG||3:31||DAN CARPENTER 40 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||11:47||REGGIE BRADSHAW 7 YD RUN (DAN CARPENTER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 20 yards.
|FG||6:53||DAN CARPENTER 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 25 yards.
|FG||12:55||BRANDEN JONES 38 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 3 yards.
|TD||0:33||TORREY THOMAS 14 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (DAN CARPENTER KICK)||10||23|