Sep 4, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Montana Grizzlies quarterback Camron Humphrey (2) celebrates following a 13-7 victory against the Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Montana’s defense stymies Washington for shocking, upset victory

The Montana Grizzlies of FCS, a top team at that level but coming into Saturday with 10 consecutive losses to Washington of the Pac-12, upset the 20th-ranked Huskies in Seattle with a come-from-behind, 13-7 victory in Seattle.

Montana, which lost 63-7 to Washington in 2017 in the previous meeting between the teams, executed two, fourth-quarter scoring drives, holding on for a historic win for the program and a signature win for former Washington assistant Bobby Hauck.

The Huskies had outscored Montana 318 to 34 in the previous 10 meetings. But on Saturday, the Grizzlies defense was stellar.

Washington had the ball with just under three minutes to play, trailing 13-7 after a 22-yard field goal by Montana’s Kevin Macias. But they turned the ball over on downs with 1:33 left.

The Huskies used all three of their timeouts and got the ball back after Macias came up short on a 50-yard field goal with 1:12 to play.
With no timeouts, Washington needed 68 yards for a touchdown to have a chance to win.

But Marcus Welnel picked off a Dylan Morris pass with 31 seconds to play, and an 11-game winning streak in home openers came crashing to an end for Washington.

A touchdown on the opening drive of the game seemed to be a sign of big things to come from Washington’s offense on a cloudy day along the shores of Lake Washington. Morris engineered a nine-play, 78-yard drive that he capped off with a one-yard run into the end zone.

The Grizzlies couldn’t solve the Huskies’ vaunted defense for much of the game, managing a first-quarter field goal. But the Montana defense, which intercepted Morris three times, never let the Huskies’ lead grow.

Montana finally rewarded its defense with quarterback Cam Humphrey’s four-yard touchdown run with 10:35 to play.

Montana managed just 232 yards of total offense and only 10 first downs, going 2 of 13 on third down. Washington was held to 291 total yards, 65 on the ground.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Dylan Morris (9) stumbles after escaping a sack against the Stanford Cardinal during the fourth quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 20 Washington opens vs. FCS foe Montana

Washington’s opportunity to win last season’s Pac-12 football championship and play in a postseason bowl game faded when the Huskies’ final game was canceled due to an abundance of positive COVID-19 tests on the roster

The 20th-ranked Huskies look to get back to the conference championship game as contenders for the Pac-12 North title. Their 2021 season begins Saturday against the Montana in Seattle.

Washington, which went 3-1 in its abbreviated 2020 season, returns 10 starters on offense and eight on defense, along with returning players at kicker (both field goal and kickoff), punter, holder and long snapper. Among those back is quarterback Dylan Morris, who started all four games last season.

The Huskies’ strength will be an experienced offensive line, one that did not allow a sack last season except for a play on which the quarterback ran out of bounds for lost yardage and wasn’t hit. Head coach Jimmy Lake noted that group first when asked about the top units on his team.

The Huskies are 96-28-5 in home openers and have won their past last 11 home openers dating back to a loss to No. 11 LSU in 2009.

Washington is 17-1-1 all-time against Montana, with the most recent matchup a 63-7 Huskies win in 2017.

“We’re excited to go out there in front of our fans and not play in front of cardboard cutouts and actually feel the energy and feel the juice from the greatest fans in the country,” Lake said Monday.

They Huskies haven’t allowed an opponent to score more than 35 points in a game since a 44-30 loss at UCLA in 2014, a 75-game span. No other team in the FBS has a current streak longer than 34 games.

The Washington running back situation could be by committee, with Sean McGrew, Richard Newton and Kamari Pleasant involved.

“The stable is deep,” Lake said. “We have a bunch of players that have played a lot of football for us in our running back room. It’s always nice to get a fresh guy back there going at our opponent.

“You see our depth chart there, guys with a bunch of carries that have made a bunch of plays over the years, and you’ll see those guys on Saturday.”

Montana held its latest season in the spring and played only two games, lopsided wins over Central Washington and Portland State. The Grizzlies of the Big Sky Conference are ranked No. 9 in the FCS Top 25.

The Grizzlies’ head coach is Bobby Hauck, a former Washington assistant who is in his second stint in charge in Missoula. He led Montana from 2003-09, winning seven consecutive Big Sky titles, before leading for the head-coaching job at UNLV, which he held for five years. He returned as Montana’s head coach in 2018.

Hauck is grateful for a chance at a first full season in two years.

“When you get something you love taken away from you, whether you’re a player or coach or anybody that’s out here involved with us, when that gets taken away from you, I think there’s a little more excitement to get back at it. And I think to a man, everyone here is excited,” Hauck told the Montana athletics website.

–Field Level Media

Nov 9, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws the ball during the first half against the New England Patriots as running back La'Mical Perine (22) blocks at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Flacco passes Montana for 20th in career passing yards

In a reflection of the pass-happy, post-modern NFL, New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco moved into the top 20 in league history for career passing yardage Monday night.

What’s more, he passed the legendary Joe Montana.

Flacco, in his 13th NFL season, entered the Monday night game against the New England Patriots with 40,464 yards in his career, needing 88 yards to pass Montana in 20th place on the list. He did so in style, hitting Breshad Perriman with a 50-yard strike in the second quarter to give the Jets a 10-7 lead.

Flacco, who has one Super Bowl ring, three fewer than Montana, started the game in place of Sam Darnold, who has been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury.

Entering the game, Flacco had thrown 6,011 passes in his career of 173 starts, while Montana threw nearly 700 fewer passes in his 15-year career.

Flacco became the eighth active player among the top 20 passers all-time. Of the players on the list, 16 have played in the past 20 years. Only Hall of Famers Dan Marino, John Elway, Fran Tarkenton and Dan Fouts remain on the list among QBs whose careers were played entirely in the 20th century.

Drew Brees (79,536 yards), and Tom Brady (76,969) top the list.

–Field Level Media

Are Western States Lagging on Sports Betting? Mountain States

The post Are Western States Lagging on Sports Betting? Mountain States appeared first on SportsHandle and was written by Robert H. Mann. 

This story is the second of two detailing the latest situations in the west.  To read the first installment on the status in the West Coast states, click here.

Six states have either legalized sports betting or issued licenses for companies to offer sports betting since the Supreme Court on May 14 struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, making sports betting a states’ rights issue. All of those states are located in the east or south. Activity with regard to sports betting has been remarkably limited in the western states.

To no one’s shock, as the more western states see the revenue being generated in newly opened eastern sports betting markets, such as New Jersey and Delaware, legislators are growing increasingly eager to access, for their own jurisdictions, the tax dollars that sports betting can generate. Some states will require a change in gambling laws, others may need a state constitutional amendment in which voters could decide the issue.

As East Coast States Go Full Speed Ahead, When or Will Colorado or New Mexico Legal Sports Betting Arrive? 


Arizona, like many of its western neighbors, is a state where tribal gaming is dominant. After PAPSA was overturned, government officials, including governor Doug Ducey, quickly acknowledged that new laws would be needed to legalize sports betting and that this presented an opportunity to look at all tribal compacts in Arizona with the goal of modernizing and updating them.

Arizona has gaming compacts with more than 20 tribes that limit the types and number of games allowed at casinos and require the tribes to contribute 1-8 percent of gaming revenue to state and local governments. The state has taken in more than $1 billion since 2002, when casino gambling became legal in the state.

“This ruling (overturning PAPSA) gives Arizona options that could benefit our citizens and our general fund,” Ducey tweeted in May.

Attorney general Mark Brnovich, a former director of the state Department of Gaming, filed an amicus brief with the court last September, arguing the ban had violated states’ rights.

The next legislative session in Arizona begins on Jan. 14, 2019.

Brnovich said Arizona law generally bans gambling, with exceptions for things like the lottery, horse racing and compacts with tribes. Social gambling between friends is legal, but betting organized by a third party that takes a cut of the money is not.

The attorney general reminded residents in May that online gambling in the form of sports fantasy leagues run by third parties is illegal under Arizona law. However, online gambling in the form of casino games is legal in the state.

To see how the other seven states are approaching sports betting visit SportsHandle through the link below.

Are Western States Lagging? Mountain States Update