Getting Ready for Digger- Dawg
I need to start with a thank you to Wally Feldt, a great friend (even though he wears red!) Wally is truly, one of the best guys associated with our Frontier conference. He sent me the pictures you see in this post.
I know there are a LOT of people who won’t agree with this, probably everyone. But I’ve always viewed the Tech Western rivalry like a sibling rivalry.
In my opinion, there isn't anything more violent, than a sibling fight. The beatings you will put on them. The AWFUL things you will say to them, that you couldn’t imagine saying to anyone else. You can go weeks, or even months without giving them any time, or any part of you. Until that goon says something to them, then all bets are off, family is family.
Again, maybe this is just me thinking of this rivalry in this way, and if so, I’m good with that. I have some incredible friends that are Bulldogs, families that treat me like one of their own, even though our colors don’t match, and people I look forward to seeing no matter where the game is, and no matter what game it is!
I love Digger – Dawg.
Let’s set the table, Montana Tech at UM Western 1pm in Dillon.
This will be the 121st meeting between Tech & Western. Tech leads the overall series with 63 wins, 55 losses, and 2 ties. The first matchup between the School of Mines (Tech) and Montana Normal (Western) was in 1925, that game was played in Dillon on October 3rd and the Ore Diggers got the win in that first battle over, in what the Butte Miner newspaper called, "some scrappy teachers", 13-3.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the stands, Tech hasn’t won in Dillon since 2010 when they got the V flashing with a 36-26 win in Coach Bob Green’s final year. Since that win in 2010 Tech is 0-7 in Dillon. Coach Morrell was never able to get a victory in Dillon. This will be Coach Samson’s first game in Dillon as head coach, and he certainly would like to turn the tide that has stood against the Diggs for some time. Under Coach Samson, the Diggs have been very strong on the road. We all know how hard it is to get wins on the road in the Frontier, and so far in his career Coach Samson is 4-2 on the road.
The Bulldogs have won their last 3 games, after falling at Carroll to start the season. They are led by returning Quarterback Jon Jund, and a defense that seems to have really found its stride as the season has worn on. That D is only allowing an average of 208 yards a game and under 13 points per game. The other number that jumps out at me is sacks, Western has 17 sacks in 4 games, and James Aragon has 5 of those himself.
Everyone will remember the year Jund had a year ago for the Dogs as they advanced to the national playoffs. Jund this year is averaging 190 yards a game through the air on 59% passing, 7 Touchdowns and 3 Interceptions.
The running game is led once again by Reese Neville, with 61 carries good for 295 yards, and 2 Touchdowns on the ground. Western has three different receivers with double digit receptions, with the Freshman Dylan Shipley leading the Dawgs with 17 catches, 291 yards, and 5 Touchdowns. Elijah Benedick has 13 catches good for 186 yards, and Blake Sentman has racked up 129 yards, and one touchdown on 10 catches.
The Diggs are coming off a tough loss to the Bears of Rocky. Montana Tech hadn’t turned the ball over in the first two games of the year, and the turnover bug bit hard. The Diggs gave the ball to Rocky 5 times, and still had a real shot at that football game. Jet Campbell has had a great start to the season, the senior from Billings has hit 58% of his passes for 674 yards. He has four passing touchdowns, opposed to two interceptions. He has also ran the ball really well, making good decisions when the pocket breaks down and taking off, Jet has 139 rushing yards on 30 carries. Blake Counts will lead the run game for the Diggs, coming off another strong weekend, Blake has 260 yards on the ground on 53 carries, averaging 87 yards a game, with one touchdown.
The next part won’t surprise anyone at all… Trevor Hoffman leads the Diggs in receptions and yards so far. The Senior has been double-teamed (what feels like) every snap and yet he’s able to get open. Trevor comes into the game with 20 receptions, 259 yards and no touchdowns, so far. Kyle Torgerson is right behind with 15 receptions good for 209 yards. He has made clutch catches in tough spots this year, and is just Tough (capital T). The Diggs have also gone to their Tight End quite a bit so far, and Logan Kennedy has been that guy, 7 catches, 119 yards and one Touchdown.
I think similar to last week, this will be a great battle in the trenches, Tech’s offensive front has only given up 2 sacks so far this year, and again Western has 17 so far this year. Circle that match-up on the whiteboard. And I think the other side of that will be good as well. Western’s O Front has given up 16 sacks this year, and the Diggs pass rush is getting in the backfield quickly.
So let’s do this, red or green, friends and family, let’s go tailgate and enjoy a family brawl at its best.