The Southern Utah football team, one week after snapping a 19-game losing streak, will try to make it two wins in a row today.
It won't be easy, however. The Thunderbirds are facing the No. 3-ranked Montana Grizzlies on the road in Missoula. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.
The Thunderbirds (1-1, 0-0 Great West) bounced back from a season-opening defeat at Air Force with a 38-10 win over Division II Adams State last week.
Montana (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) opened its season with a 30-28 win at No. 11 Cal Poly last week. The Grizzlies never trailed in the game but had to watch a field-goal attempt sail wide as time expired to hang on for the win against the Mustangs.
"Montana has won three straight championships in the Big Sky Conference, which is, in my opinion, the best conference in the country and a lot of people around the country would agree with that," said SUU coach Ed Lamb. "We can't even expect that they would overlook us, that's not the way they operate. You don't become as successful as they have without having a standard of preparation and a standard of performance, so we'll get their best effort. It's their home-opener."
Today's game will mark the fifth meeting between the two schools. Montana holds a 3-1 edge, including a 37-17 Grizzly win last year. The prior two contests were shootouts, including a 45-35 SUU win in '98 and a 68-45 Grizzly win in 2002. All four games in the series have been played in Missoula.
"We got the win (over Adams State) but more importantly we learned some lessons ... a different lesson in the second half than in the first half," said Lamb.
"When you're at the game and only one yard away from going in at halftime up 42-0, then finish the game 38-10 it is really concerning to the team and concerning to me."
Despite the less-impressive second-half performance against Adams State, Lamb likes the attitude of his team right now.
"We have a lot of confidence going into (the Montana game)," Lamb said. "Right now we're playing very well on special teams and we're playing very physically on defense. We do need to assert ourselves in the running game."