If you're Appalachian State, Richmond or anyone on this or the other side of your bracket, what transpired Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium was your worst-case scenario.
Montana couldn't be entering their second round game in a more optimal mental state. Against the Jackrabbits, they made mistake after mistake. If this was the "bend but don't break" strategy they were a piece of paper that had been folded in half. Pushed as far as any team could possibly be pushed, they didn't cave.
Going forward, is there any chance a team could push the Griz to a point where they're willing to pack it in, to think they can't win? Absolutely not. Last year, I drove thousands of miles in a shoddy camper to watch Montana fall behind early and never mount any kind of comeback. It felt like we showed up while the team stayed in Missoula.That shouldn't happen this year.
When they weren't tripping over themselves to hand SDSU the game, the Griz were unstoppable. Marc Mariani may be the most dangerous player in the FCS and a legit NFL prospect (see: Wes Welker). This team is every bit as dangerous as last year's impressive group and possibly even better.
But let's look at what could've happened this past weekend: The Giz could've come into Washington-Grizzly stadium clicking in every facet of the game and blown out the Jackrabbits by three scores. With the teams still alive on our side of the bracket, the Griz don't need a thick coating of overconfidence.
Then again, they could've played a low-scoring close game; one where the two teams exchanged mixtakes and it came down to a kick. And how does that look? It's very possible the Griz escape not believing they are truly deserving of their 1-seed.
So what do things look like now? They won't make the same mistakes. They're confident they can move the ball and win games but not so much that they aren't aware of the fact that any potential mistakes could cost them.