Posted: Oct 31, 2012 8:51 AM by Derek Buerkle - MTN Sports
MISSOULA - It's been a trying year for Grizzly football.
Just after they started celebrating their best performance of the season, one player was arrested, three others suspended and the maroon and silver went back to dealing with a distraction.
Ciach Mick Delaney was blunt with the media on Tuesday, the same style he took with his team after the latest controversy.
"Our message was lets go guys," said the first year head coach. "I'm only worried about what's here, and not what's not here. And we're going to coach them up. And they're going to practice up. And we're going to go play a football game."
Montana will play that next football game without three players who have started every contest this season. Starting left tackle Trevor Poole was arrested for allegedly buying ecstasy. The Griz will turn to redshirt freshman John Schmaing of Billings in his place.
Delaney then suspended starting center Kjelby Oiland, starting linebacker John Kanongata'a, and backup linebacker Nick Holt for breaking team rules. Junior Logan Hines will step in and make his first start as the snapper. A combination of senior Josh Stuberg and freshman Addison Owen will replace Kanongata'a.
"The University of Montana is a lot bigger than just a couple guys," said new starting quarterback Shay Smithwick-Hann. "Whoever's on the field is always expected to perform. You know, this week we've got some guys stepping in."
"You know, Schmaing has played a lot. He's a guy that could easily be a starter for us. You know, Hines will do a great job at center," he continued.
"Brock Coyle is able to go out and play on the outside," said Delaney about the linebacker position. "Addison Owen has been playing very well, so he can go on the outside and Brock can stay on the inside. We've got a couple, three or four different scenarios there."
Montana did get another player back from suspension, though. Gerald Kemp sat out the first eight ames after breaking team rules. But the senior wide receiver and former quarterback shined on special teams against Idaho State.
When asked about his return, Delaney once again was blunt. "It was just a process that took a long, long time. But you know, what he had to do was just wait until the process was over. And it was over last week."
The Grizzlies will not get another sought after return this week. Dan Moore will miss another game due to the high ankle sprain he suffered a month ago. Delaney hopes to get the physical running back on the field against the Bobcats in the season finale to if nothing else, "scare the heck out of them."