One of the reasons the Montana State football team enters fall camp full of optimism is the return of Ryan Johnson.
Johnson missed much of the spring with a back injury. He is on course to claim most of the Bobcat career rushing records. One mark Johnson will probably not break, however, is the Bobcat record for carries in a game. Back in the 1968 game with the Griz, Paul Schaffer carried the ball 58 times as the Cats staged a dramatic comeback in Missoula. Johnson is also a talented guitarist. He is in a rock band called Pie.
Montana State's D.J. Cochrane is an interesting story. Cochrane was born in Philadelphia and originally went to West Virginia University. He left Morgantown after a coaching change in the fall of 2000. Cochrane will battle for kicking time this fall. He was born in October of 1981 on the same Saturday the Grizzlies beat the Bobcats in Bozeman. A career goal of Cochrane's is to be an avalanche forecaster.
In Adams State the Bobcats face a bit of their football past. The Adams State Grizzlies belong to the Rocky Mountain Conference. Back in the 1950s, the Bobcats were also members of the Rocky Mountain Conference.
Over the last four years the Bobcats have split four games with Idaho State. None of the games, however, have been close. Since 1998, the average margin of victory in an ISU-MSU game has been 33 points.
The recent stock market troubles brought this gem to mind. The calendar for 2002 is exactly the same as it was in 1929. The reason the 1929-2002 connection is mentioned is that the week before the big stock market crash the Cats beat the Griz for the first time in 21 years.
If you'd like to ask Chris a sports trivia question, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can write to him at the Missoulian, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, 59807.