63-7. That was the score the last time Montana travelled to Seattle to take on Washington back in 2017. Head coach Bobby Hauck says we will find out Saturday if Montana has closed that gap as a program. As for the players, they have taken on the identity of their coach, at least in their answers, about matching up with the 20th ranked team in the entire country.
"It's still 100 yards, the football is shaped the exact same, still two field goals, still eleven people on the field each side. They are grown men just like I'm a grown man so I'm not getting star eyes or anything it's just regular football for me," said Grizzly senior defensive end Justin Belknap.
For Belknap the jump to the PAC-12 won't be unfamiliar. The University of Arizona transfer has played at every stadium in that conference except for Husky Stadium. But the FBS is the FBS and the FCS is the FCS. That 2017 Husky roster had over 20 players that got a shot to play in the NFL and this team on film looks similar especially in the trenches.
"I am particularly impressed with their fronts, they are huge and athletic up front so that will be a real test for us," said Hauck.
"I would say they are a big, physical, really good offensive line and I would say we have to stop the run the best we can," said Griz senior defensive end Joe Babros.
In their last meeting, the Grizzlies faced Montana native and current Seattle Seahawk Will Dissly and they will face another likely pro at tight end in Cade Otton this year.
"They have a really good group of tight ends the best one being Otton who is a future pro," said Hauck. "So they will have several tight ends on the field most of the game and they want to run the ball, they want to pound you a little bit."
Hauck describes the Huskies as big and physical on defense with a couple of shut down defensive backs as well. It's a tall order for this team who's just hoping to not have a repeat of 2017.
"It was 63-7. There are a lot of ways you can describe that but there's only one way to slice it, that is a demolishing and I hope we have closed the gap some," concluded Hauck.