(GoGriz.com) The anticipation for the 2022 football season couldn't have been higher Saturday morning in Missoula as Grizzly fans await a season full of high expectations.

The No. 2/3 Montana Grizzlies didn't disappoint in the opener. The season got off to a perfect start Saturday as Montana rolled through the Northwestern State Demons 47-0 on a hot day inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

Montana put together a complete performance in all three aspects of the game, shutting out the Demons and scoring six offensive touchdowns while also finding the end zone after a blocked punt. In the end, it led to Montana's 19th consecutive win in a home opener.

Junior Bergen scores during the University of Montana's win over Northwestern State. (WIlliam Munoz)
Junior Bergen scores during the University of Montana's win over Northwestern State. (WIlliam Munoz)
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One of the most dominant defenses in the country last season picked up right where they left off, holding Northwestern State scoreless and to just 219 total yards. While shutouts are rare in today's college football landscape, it was Montana's second in its last six games after also holding Northern Colorado scoreless during the 2021 season.

"Shutting teams out in modern-day college football is virtually impossible anymore, and we've been kind of doing that regularly around here," Hauck said. "Teams can go 20 years without shutting anybody out. What a spectacular effort again by this defense."

The Grizzlies intercepted a pair of passes while also recovering three fumbles defensively, which led to 14 points. Montana won the turnover battle 5-0 as the offense didn't give it away once. The defense never allowed Northwestern State into the red zone.

University of Montana students relish in the win and hot September afternoon in Missoula. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
University of Montana students relish in the win and hot September afternoon in Missoula. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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The Grizzlies went deep into the bench to give several players experience down the stretch to see out the shutout victory. Montana returns right back home next week as South Dakota comes to town for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

"It's a huge game," Hauck said. "A playoff team coming in here and a team that is going to test us."

The University of Montana's defense shut Northwestern State down in all facets of the game. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
The University of Montana's defense shut Northwestern State down in all facets of the game. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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The University of Montana cheer squad in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
The University of Montana cheer squad in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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(William Munoz/Missoula Current)
(William Munoz/Missoula Current)
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