Montana depth a key strength for Big Sky title run

NCAA Football

(Stats Perform) – Montana already has the talent to enjoy another successful football season, but an intangible may factor in as well.

Coach Bobby Hauck believes in the importance of personality when it comes to playing through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Are you a person who gets up in the morning and says my glass is half-full today or half-empty?” Hauck said. “If it’s half-full, then you’re going to find value in the day, you’re going to find a way to get better in terms of the football part and you’re going to enjoy whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish that day.”

Montana returned to the practice field on Wednesday under a model in which the NCAA is allowing 20 hours per week to schools that are seeking a spring season.

The Griz are expected to be a title contender in the Big Sky’s spring conference schedule. Last season, they reached 10 wins for the first time since 2013 and made their first FCS playoff appearance since 2015, setting the longtime power’s postseason points record with 73 in a win over Southeastern Louisiana.

In Hauck’s third season of his second tenure in Missoula, the offense would remain potent behind running back Marcus Knight and wide receivers Samori Toure and Samuel Akem, and the defense features linebacker Jace Lewis and safety Robby Hauck, the coach’s son. The starting quarterback should be either Cam Humphrey, who was 3-0 as a starter a year ago, or junior college transfer Robbie Patterson.

“In FCS football, we can get into some long seasons, and back-to-back long seasons. I think if you have depth, you have a chance to have continued success,” Bobby Hauck said. “And I think for the first time in this time around here, we have depth in our two-deep really at every position.

“I think that’s probably the thing that fires me up the most – that I can see very few holes and we don’t have to scheme around major deficiencies at certain position groups. I feel good about that.”

The Big Sky season is expected to begin in late February. Hauck needs four wins to reach his 100th with the Griz.

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