MISSOULA — At long last, the wait, is almost over.
It’s been almost exactly two years to the day since the last time Montana and Montana State suited up against one another in a football game. But on Saturday, the biggest day in the sports calendar for Montanans returns to Washington-Grizzly Stadium as the Bobcats and Grizzlies meet once again in the 120th Brawl of the Wild.
The No. 7 Grizzlies last hosted MSU in 2018 when the Bobcats erased a 22-0 deficit and used a goal-line stand to beat the Griz. With another top-10 matchup on deck — the second in a row for these teams — fans are due for another electric atmosphere on Saturday.
"There’s really nothing like it," offensive lineman Dylan Cook said. "I still think I have yet to see Washington-Grizzly at its max, full capacity and I think that’s what it’s going to be at Saturday and it’s going to be loud and rowdy and we plan on putting on a show."
But the atmosphere is always as much of a storyline as the on-field product, something players from Montana and from outside the state recognize.
"Just hearing Jace (Lewis) and Cooky talk about growing up here, it’s a big deal," Griz quarterback Cam Humphrey said. "I’ve been here for a handful of years now and it’s one of the biggest games I’ve ever been a part of and I’m really looking forward to starting it this year."
When it's a top-10 clash, the spotlight gets brighter with playoff implications and seeds on the line. For a look at this matchup by the numbers, click here.
All eyes will be on Missoula on Saturday, it a game that has all the makings of another classic meeting between the two programs.
"The thing that stands out is that both sides are passionate about it," Griz head coach Bobby Hauck said. "People care about the outcome and that’s what kind of makes it what it is. People care. I think people care here in Missoula and across Montana about how the Griz play every weekend but it’s probably magnified a bit in this one."