Montana running back Peter Nguyen had 79 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown during the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs on Saturday.
Two weeks after Montana greased Montana State for 309 yards rushing, the Griz were at it again in a 41-14 playoff win Saturday. They churned out 229 yards, systematically demoralizing the intimidated Bears.
Montana has had other big games on the ground this fall. But something magical is happening the colder it gets.
Nguyen isn’t just finding open spaces, the 5-foot-8 waterbug is busting tackles.
Just ask coach Robin Pflugrad how it helps having all three runningbacks in the mix.
“It’s extremely beneficial because they all bring a different element to our run game,” he said. “Dan Moore is obviously our power back, so to speak. Jordan Canada and Peter Nguyen are similar but yet they do have differences.
“It takes some pressure off Peter Nguyen when Jordan Canada is there. For a couple games it was really just Peter Nguyen. We like to play fast. We played very well in the first half playing fast. If you only have one back in practice you’re not going to be able to play as fast.”
Credit is due to Montana’s imposing offensive line for making Saturday possible. By the same token, Nguyen, Moore and Canada are all running exceptionally hard, something even NFL scatbacks seem reluctant to do on every play.
When you run the ball with success, life is a ray of sunshine. The passing game benefits, the defense stays off the field. The air smells fresher. Food tastes better.
Bill Speltz can be reached at 523-5255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.