110817 MIS griz for web

Mick Delaney, right, comforts Connor Strahm after Montana's crushing loss to Northern Colorado last season in Greeley, Colo.

TOMMY MARTINO, 406mtsports.com

MISSOULA — Montana has only lost to Northern Colorado twice in the 40-year history between the two schools.

Two losses in forty years. 

The first one came back in their inaugural meeting in 1976. The Bears won 27-19. 

Montana lost the second matchup 40 years later — last season. 

The Grizzlies haven't forgotten about going into Greeley, Colorado, and losing by three points. 

"Obviously I think the whole team, everybody thinks about what happened last year, how the season ended," Montana wide receiver and return man Jerry Louie-McGee said. "We're gonna go into this game like any other game: full speed. We're not gonna overlook them.

"We're gonna go into it our best and prepare. We're gonna play with a little chip on our shoulder. We know what happened last year. We're ready to go."

Scouting Northern Colorado's offense

WR Alex Wesley: Wesley's speedy. Think Louie-McGee but he's 6 feet, 170 pounds and is a two-time outdoor Big Sky champion in the 400-meter dash. 

His speed translates to the football field, where he's been a major target this season for both starting quarterbacks.

Through eight games Wesley has 849 yards on 47 receptions with four touchdowns. He averages 18.1 yards per catch and 106.1 yards per game with the latter ranking fourth in the conference. 

Last season against the Griz, Wesley had two catches for 28 yards. 

QB Conor Regan: Regan, a sophomore, assumed the starting role for the Bears' offense after junior quarterback Jacob Knipp sustained an injury for the second season in a row. The lefty reinjured his left shoulder against North Dakota three weeks ago. 

Regan has played in seven games and started in three. Along the way he's completed 67 of 140 passes for 948 yards with three interceptions and five touchdown throws. 

On the ground, Regan has a net minus-9 yards rushing with one touchdown run. 

Regan has been sacked eight times this season. Four of those came last week against Sacramento State — the only team in the BSC with more sacks than Montana.

TB Trae Riek: Riek is among the best rushers in the conference, despite the Bears having the worst rushing offense in the league. 

The junior tailback averages 64.8 yards rushing per game, a mark that's seventh in the Big Sky. Total, he has 518 net yards rushing with six rushing touchdowns. 

He's moving up the UNC charts too. His total of 2,007 career rushing yards is seventh all-time for a Bears player. 

Last season against the Griz, Riek had seven carries for 46 yards. 

Scouting Northern Colorado's defense

LB Henry Stelzner: Stelzner leads the Bears in tackles with 75. He also has four tackles for loss (one of which is a sack) and has one of Northern Colorado's seven fumble recoveries. 

S Stone Kane: Kane's just behind Stelzner in tackles with 74 and is the team leader in interceptions with two and 108 return yards on those picks. His five pass breakups is second on the team and he also has a fumble recovery on the year. 

Last season against the Griz, Kane had three tackles with a half-tackle for loss. 

DE Keifer Morris: Morris is a dominant pass rusher for Northern Colorado. He has nine tackles for loss, seven of which are sacks. Those seven sacks rank third in the conference and 16th among all FCS players. 

In total, he has 46 tackles, ranking fourth for the Bears. 

Last season against the Griz, Morris had two tackles.

Amie Just covers Griz football for the Missoulian, among other things. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at Amie.Just@406mtsports.com.

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