Montana captures its second Div. I-AA title
Saturday, December 22, 2001
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Montana coach Joe Glenn's corny saying eventually came true.
The Grizzlies won their second NCAA Division I-AA national title Friday night with a 13-6 victory over Furman behind a touchdown by Yohance Humphery and two field goals by Chris Snyder.
After losing to Georgia Southern in last year's championship game, the Grizzlies were determined to have another chance.
The challenge made Glenn think of something his mother used to say: "When you have a big job to do you just sit down and start doing it and do it one bite at a time. It's like eating an elephant."
So when the team gathered last January to start winter conditioning, Glenn started by asking the team, "How do you eat an elephant, guys?"
"One bite at a time, coach," the players responded that morning, groaning.
They weren't groaning Friday night after taking their last bite.
"That's where it started, and we rode that dog all the way to the national championship," Glenn said. "There is not a more deserving team in the United States than the Montana Grizzlies. They never gave up and they never quit."
The Grizzlies also won the title in 1995.
While most of the game was a defensive stalemate and equals the lowest scoring ever in the championship, Montana put together a 99-yard drive in the second quarter. Humphery's 2-yard scoring run up the middle capped the drive.
Two plays earlier, Snyder missed a 20-yard field goal, but Montana got the ball back and a first down because of an offside penalty against Furman.
"Montana did an outstanding defensive job. They made plays and we didn't," Furman coach Bobby Johnson said. "We thought we could move the ball a lot better than we did."
Humphery did most of the running in the game. He had 142 yards on 30 carries, while Furman's Louis Ivory, the Southern Conference's offensive player of the year, was held to just 33 yards on 12 carries.
Furman, which won its only title in 1988, beat Georgia Southern last week in the semifinals.
The game might have been the last for Johnson at Furman. He's a leading candidate to replace Woody Widenhofer at Vanderbilt.
But after the game, he didn't say much about where his job stands.
"I am not standing on anything but Furman football," he said.