Nobody, outside of the coaching staff and team, knows more about the Montana Grizzlies gridiron gang than the 'Voice of the Griz' Riley Corcoran. Tuesday morning, Corcoran dropped by the studio to cover a number of Griz Football-related topics.

  • Quarterback Battle
  • New Look Griz Offense
  • Lofty Griz Expectations
  • Can Montana State Live Up to Expectations?

Quarterback battle

Who will be the starting quarterback of the Montana Grizzlies Week 1? That was the question on a lot of Griz fans' minds after last year's starter Lucas Johnson departed. There are three viable options, but one sticks out in Corcoran's mind.

"Sam Vidlak is going to be a breath of fresh air... to me, Sam Vidlak checks all the boxes."

Corcoran on the state of the quarterback position at Montana.

"A lot of Griz fans would echo my sentiment. It's been kind of a revolving door. You bring someone in here with the transfer portal and you have him for a year, maybe two years max. Griz Nation wants to wrap their arms around somebody and say 'This is our guy.'"

Vidlak hasn't been declared starting QB, but early indications point in favor of the former PAC 12 athlete. The Boise State transfer arrives with three years of eligibility, as well.

Originally out of high school, Vidlak committed to Montana before pivoting to Oregon State and then Boise State. Last year, Vidlak appeared in three games at Boise State going 9-14 and 86 yards.

New/Old Offensive Coordinator

The other major offensive change is a new offensive coordinator. Brent Pease was elevated to OC after five seasons as the wide receivers coach. Pease is accustomed to Missoula. He graduated from UM in '87 and spent 1991-1998 on the Griz coaching staff, partially as OC. Even though Pease isn't "new blood" Corcoran sees a revitalization.

"Renewed energy is the first thing that comes to mind," said Corcoran.

"They know the offense held them back. That's no secret last year. There were games where, really in the last couple seasons, the defense has carried the flag and the offense knows that it's time for a little bit of a kickstart. Brent Pease brings so much experience and creativity from his playcalling."

What are the fans saying?

Last year the Griz began the year with monstrous expectations, but frankly, they didn't live up to them. A second-round exit in the FCS Playoffs finished the Griz' season 8-5. This year's new-look offense and a lack of national attention have invigorated the hype around the Griz 2023 season.

You're hearing more about the other teams in the league primarily some of Montana's main rivals in Montana State as well as Idaho. All of a sudden you have Montana kind of lurking. I welcome that as a unique opportunity. Not many people are talking about Montana from the outside. - Corcoran

Montana State... boo

Riley Corcoran is Griz through and through, so I'm sure it nearly killed him to say this.

"It hurts to say all this but they're legit. They absolutely deserve the spot that they are at right now. There's no question that they're the favorite coming into the season."

Montana State was a unanimous pick to capture the Big Sky Conference Title, and roll into the season ranked 3rd in the Coaches Poll.

Good news for Cat haters, Corcoran doesn't see an easy path for Montana State.

"They're are three or four teams that could slip them up," said Corcoran.

We'll worry about the Cats on November 18 for the 122nd all-time Griz-Cat matchup. For now, we can't wait to see the new-look offense on September 2 against Butler.

Go Griz.

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