After rivalry loss, Montana Griz squeak into playoffs
(Gogriz.com) Montana will extend its FCS record playoff appearances to 26 this Saturday after earning an at-large bid to the 2022 tournament, the NCAA announced Sunday morning during its annual selection show on ESPNU.
The Grizzlies will now host the 9-2 Southeast Missouri State Redhawks, winners of the Ohio Valley Conference, on Nov. 26, under the lights at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Kickoff against SEMO is set for 8 p.m. MT in Missoula. It marks the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
The Griz will also play once again in the national spotlight, with the game airing around the country on ESPN 2.
Tickets for Montana's first round playoff game will go on sale to the general public at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, at GrizTix.com and will remain on sale through Saturday at halftime of the game.
The Adams Center ticket office will also be open for walk-up sales Monday-Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The ticket office will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will open again on Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Montana is one of five playoff contenders from the Big Sky Conference this year. Sacramento State and Montana State, co-league champs, each received a first-round bye with a top-eight seed. Sac State secured the No. 2 seed behind No. 1 South Dakota State. Montana State slotted in at No. 4, with defending champions North Dakota State at No. 3.
After finishing the regular season at 7-4 with all four losses coming to playoff teams, the Grizzlies earned the No. 24 seed in the bracket.
A win for Montana over SEMO would see the Grizzlies advance to face No. 3 seed NDSU on Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. MT in Fargo. Montana is 4-5 all-time against the Bison, with the last meeting between the two FCS powers occurring in the second round of the 2015 playoffs – a 37-6 loss for UM at NDSU.
Montana's record of 26 FCS/1-AA playoff appearances dates back to 1982. In that time, the Griz are 34-23 overall in the postseason and 31-7 at home.
UM has advanced to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs in each of the past two full seasons, winning home games over Southeastern Louisiana in 2019 and Eastern Washington in 2021.
The 2022 playoffs conclude with the FCS National Championship game in Frisco, Texas, on Sunday, Jan. 8, at Noon MT. The game is scheduled to air nationally on ABC.