The Griz are ranked the fifth best team in the pre-season coaches poll. Arguably more impressive is their schedule, which features road games against the #1, and #2 teams in North Dakota State and Eastern Washington. Throw in a third road game to start the year at FBS foe Wyoming, and there's plenty of good football on the horizon.
“Really excited, that's what you play for, you want to play the best, you don't want to have a bunch of scrubs on your roster, because who are you if you're beating up on a bunch of kids. It's a good test for us, and we'll see where we are right out the gate, and whether or not we need to improve of we are those guys,” says Griz senior running back Jordan Canada.
“I'm really excited. The plan was to beat Coastal Carolina so we could go play at the Fargo Dome (against NDSU). We get to do that this year; we're excited for that opportunity and to start the season in Laramie. Yes, it's going to be challenging, yes it's going to be tough, but we're really excited for that,” adds Griz senior defensive end Zack Wagenmann.
While the coaches and players say their ranking doesn't mean much to them right now, coach Delaney didn't hesitate when asked about the improvements he hopes to see this year.
“We will never ever quit, and we'll finish the job, and obviously finishing the job for us is to get to the national championship, there is a long road to get there, but I'm certainly not afraid to talk about those goals, because I think that's what's expected at the University of Montana,” says head coach Mick Delaney.
For a stellar senior class that features all conference performers across the board, this will be their last fall camp…something not everyone is prepared to accept just yet.
“It's my first time thinking about it, so thanks a lot, I appreciate it" jokes Canada, "I don't think about it though, it's just another year of football. I'm blessed to play his sport, so I take it for what it is.”
“I'm trying not to get too sentimental or look too far ahead, I'm trying to live in the moment. It's kind of crazy thinking this will be my last go-round, so I'm just going to try and make the most of it,” adds Wagenmann.