If you watched the game between South Dakota State and the University of Montana this past Sunday, then you know it was a tale of two halves.

The Griz came into the game as underdogs as they were taking on the defending champs and a team that hadn't lost in 24 games. At first, it looked like it just might be Montana's day as the Jackrabbits committed a couple of turnovers and the Griz had no problem hanging with SDSU.  In fact, after the first half, the score was 7 to 3 in favor of the Jackrabbits.

However, the second half was a different story.

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The Jackrabbits came out and went on to score 16 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter and when the dust had settled, won their second National Championship in as many years.

Unfortunately for Griz fans, they came up just a bit short and that is something that Bobcat fans can relate to as well.  It was just two years ago that the Cats lost in Frisco to NDSU after a devastating injury to Tommy Mellot a few minutes into the game.

For years, the Griz were a constant threat in the FCS playoffs and then came across some lean years, however, it seems like things in Missoula are back on track.  As far as the Cats go, the last few years have been some of the best in the history of the program with a home winning streak that reached over 25 games in a row.

Credit: MSU
Credit: MSU

So what do both programs have to do to get over the hump? Well, that seems to be the million-dollar question, huh?

The game has certainly changed with the transfer portal. Coaches are not only going out to recruit players to come to their program but also convincing the players who are currently on the team to stay as well, which has proved to be a big challenge.

University of Montana football stadium full of fans.
Credit: Townsquare Media

Both the University of Montana and Montana State University have huge fan bases that reach outside of The Treasure State.  Both continue to increase and improve facilities, and both fanbases travel well to away games, so what needs to happen? What does the state of Montana need to do to bring home an FCS Championship?

Credit: Montana State University Football via Facebook
Credit: Montana State University Football via Facebook

There are lots of opinions on social media with armchair quarterbacks and coaches making their opinions known. The good news, both programs are in great shape, well-coached, and on the national radar with people with a far higher football IQ than the average fan making the calls.

Fans of both programs should take comfort in that and as they say in sports....there is always next year.

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