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Brawl of the Wild, high stakes matchup

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PHOTO BY TOM BAUER

EBS STAFF

Much will be at stake for both the Montana State Bobcats and the University of Montana Grizzlies in the 120th Brawl of the Wild, which starts at 12 p.m. Saturday in Missoula’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Winning this game could secure an advantageous position in the FCS playoffs for either team. 

Montana State, No. 3 is FCS play, is one of only two teams undefeated in Big Sky conference play, matched only California’s Sacramento State with a record of 7-0. Montana, ranked No. 7, has lost two conference games this season and has lost the last four Brawls of the Wild.

Both teams are widely considered to be playoff locks, reports Spokane’s KHQ, but a win for Montana State, which boasts the statistically strongest rushing game in Big Sky, could secure a top-3 seed in the FCS playoffs. Montana could earn itself a top-8 seed and a potential bye with a win against the Bobcats.

In one of the oldest and most celebrated rivalries of the West, pride from across the state will bolster Saturday’s excitement, fueled even more by the Montana players for both sides on the field.

“There are so many Montana kids on both sides,” MSU Head Coach Brent Vigen told KHQ. “It just brings that level of intensity to a place that a lot of rivalries don’t see.”

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