Despite being the 21st-ranked football team in I-AA, there were plenty of rumblings that Weber State didn't belong.
Rumblings that the Wildcats had a soft schedule and had beaten only a bunch of patsies.Well, stop all the rumblings. Weber State is for real, and a 27-20 win over 11th-ranked Montana should erase most skepticism.
"The doubters are becoming believers," said quarterback Chris Wallace. "We expected it, to tell you the truth."
Weber State's do-everything player - Scott Shields - made the game's two biggest plays, both coming in the final minutes.
With the Wildcats holding a slim 21-20 lead, Shields prepared to punt on fourth and eight. The snap was low, and after dropping the ball, Shields took a few steps to his right to give himself more room to get the punt away.
But instead of booting the ball, Shields looked up, saw nothing but green grass in front of him and ran. "I looked and saw nobody downfield so I decided to run," he said.
Twenty-nine yards later, the Wildcats had a first down and ended up getting a field goal to extend the lead.
"A lot of people would have panicked," Graybeal said. "He sees an opportunity and just goes. That's a great athlete for you."
Shields' second great play made sure the Grizzlies wouldn't have any last-second heroics. An Ah Yat pass was picked off by Shields at the 15 yard line.
Graybeal, a defensive assistant for 16 years prior to becoming head coach, said that even though Weber might not score as many points as in the past, the Wildcats wil be at least as entertaining.
"Ask them if they're bored now," he said, referring to the crowd. "Our offense isn't always so flashy, but it is effective."
Morgan Welch continued his nation-leading rushing as he picked up 217 yards and a touchdown. Wallace had easily his best day as a collegian by completing 16 of 30 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown.
The second largest crowd ever to watch Weber State play at home - 16,954 - saw the Wildcats dominate the game in just about every way but on the scoreboard. And that close score can be attributed to turnovers.
The Wildcat defense put on an incredible performance - limiting the nation's best offense to barely half its normal output.
Montana, after coming into the game with better than 500 yards total offense, limped out of Stewart Stadium having gained just 283. Quarterback Brian Ah Yat had the bulk of those yards with 217 through the air, but that was almost 200 yards less than his per game average.