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Missoulian editorial: Go Griz!

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Griz vs. EWU 18.JPG

Montana’s Keelan White (6) and Cole Grossman (11) go up for the final pass of the game against Eastern Washington in Cheney on Oct. 2.

Home-turf huckleberries to the University of Montana football team, which takes on the Eastern Washington University Eagles at 7 p.m. tonight in a highly anticipated rematch at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The Griz won’t have the hated red turf in Cheney to deal with this time around, and a couple of senior starters on defense — Gavin Robertson and Joe Babros — are back from injury to help the cause.

EWU racked up over 500 yards of offense, including 422 passing, in a 34-28 win at home on Oct. 2 that came down to the final play of the game.

Eagles All-American quarterback Eric Barriere is a load, and is looking forward to the rematch.

“I’m excited,” Barriere said. “They don’t get no better than this, playing on a Friday night, against another Big Sky team, against a rival. So, it’s going to be a lot of high energy. I know Missoula’s going to be crazy, and I can’t wait.”

Neither can the Griz. They badly want revenge after the nationally televised loss earlier this season. And as if they needed any extra motivation, Eagles All-American wide receiver Talolo Limu-Jones recently said UM didn’t deserve its high FCS playoff seed and first-round bye.

As Missoulian sports reporter Frank Gogola writes today, it's win or go home. Survive and advance.

“It’s do or die at this point,” Griz senior cornerback Omar Hicks Onu said. “So, just go out there, just handle our business and get that W.”

“First time we played them, it was a good game,” UM coach Bobby Hauck said, later adding: “It should be a great game Friday night. Need our crowd there and riled up. Should be a lot of fun.”

“Every opportunity you get in front of Griz Nation is awesome,” Montana senior quarterback Cam Humphrey said. “To go out there and play another game at home, playoff atmosphere, it’s going to be special.”

Go Griz!

Time-honored huckleberries to the “Backroads of Montana” program on Montana PBS, which has entertained viewers for 30 years since its launch in 1991.

Longtime host William Marcus is handing the reins to John Twiggs, a producer on the program. The network aired a special show Wednesday to mark the transition.

The show is one of Montana PBS’ most popular programs, and we are glad that it will continue to bring the interesting people and special places of the state’s backroads into our homes.

Over the decades the program has made an effort to steer clear of the stories that get a lot of coverage in Montana, opting to share the lesser-known tales and characters that assembled together make our state unlike anywhere else.

“In a time where you feel like people are a little more jaded toward the media, you’re still stunned when you go on these 'Backroads' stories how open, how genuine, how welcoming people are,” Twiggs said.

Marcus retired from his position as director of the University of Montana Broadcast Media Center and Montana Public Radio/Montana PBS in 2015, but remained on "Backroads" until the 50th program this year.

Hosting the show has never felt like work, he said.

“As I meet people on the street who approach me because I’m the host, they consistently talk about how proud it makes them of Montana, how they’ve really loved meeting people that they would like to know better.”

Congratulatory huckleberries to the University of Montana’s School of Journalism, which recently received a $500,000 grant to support its graduate program in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism.

The money, which comes from the Orange County Community Foundation in California, will help bolster the journalism school’s Crown Reporting Fellowship, which sponsors students to produce stories about the environment in the Crown of the Continent in the Rocky Mountain region of Montana, Alberta and British Columbia.

It will also provide more scholarship opportunities for incoming and current graduate students, and prepare student journalists to cover news occurring in “extreme situations,” such as climate change, destructive weather events, human migration, environmental disruption and armed conflicts over limited natural resources.

Students completing the journalism master's program have gone on to work for newspapers, online news sites and public radio newsrooms across the country — including the Missoulian. Our city editor, Laura Scheer, is a proud graduate.

“This fabulous gift recognizes the strength of UM’s interdisciplinary approach to training the professional journalists and science communicators of tomorrow,” said Nadia White, director of the graduate program and a journalism associate professor.

“We look on this grant as a vote of confidence in Nadia White’s dedication and vision for our graduate program,” said Denise Dowling, director of the School of Journalism and a journalism professor. “We’re grateful for the ability to continue our already-successful Crown Fellowship, which brings top-notch grad students to UM.”

We applaud the program’s work, and are glad to see it on firm financial footing.

This editorial represents the views of the Missoulian’s editorial board — Publisher Jim Strauss and Executive Editor Jim Van Nostrand.

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