This weekend, the Griz look to start off their national title run at home against Coastal Carolina. While it seems like it's been quite awhile since the Grizzlies last played, with the teams first round bye, everyone agrees, the breakcame at the right time.
"I think when we came back Sunday at 5 o'clock, you could just tell the players were refreshed and felt good, and anxious to get going, which it couldn't come at a better time really for us," says head coach Mick Delaney.
With the temperatures in Conway South Carolina in the 70s the majority of this week, and with a game-time temperature in Missoula in the single digits, it's something the members of the Grizzlies welcome.
"I say bring it on, let the temperature keep dropping. I hope the wind-chill puts us beneath zero (degrees) because that's fun, when we look back at our careers, me and Danny (Kistler) that game in early December, that's what we'll remember. To get a team, especially from another climate up here, give them the classic Montana weather, classic Montana football and challenge them to beat us in our own element," says senior DT Alex Bienemann.
While the week away from football was good for rest and injuries, there could be some concern about losing momentum into the playoffs, but not for coach Delaney.
"Like I say, the rest was way more important for us after 12 straight weeks than momentum was, I don't believe we'll lose a step, and we'll get out there today. We did Sunday, and we'll get out there today, and you won't be able to tell whether we had a week off or not," says Delaney.
While the Grizzly defense has faced several great running-backs, including NAU's Zach Bauman, they'll go up against another challenge this week, as Coastal's star running back has scored 24 touchdowns on the year.
"There has been so many weeks, when teams have tried the run once or twice and then they go into the three step quick pass game, which in a way neutralizes me and Tonga (Takai) on the outside. I mean we can get our hands up and get there, but you end up playing a lot of stuff from behind, and running stuff down, I think we're both, along with everyone in the front seven are really excited to have some team try to run the ball straight at us," says Bienemann.