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Griz hold off SDSU to advance in FCS playoffs - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Griz hold off SDSU to advance in FCS playoffs

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MISSOULA -

When they needed it most, the Montana Grizzlies finally put together a second half drive to run out the clock and hold on for a 24-17 win over South Dakota State Saturday.

John Nguyen ran for 34 yards on six carries on UM's final drive, including a 14-yard burst with under two minutes to play that proved to be the nail in the Jackrabbits' coffin.  Nguyen had 18 carries for 107 yards overall in the game, his third straight 100-yard performance.

The Griz jumped out to a 24-0 lead at halftime, as Brady Gustafson threw two first half touchdowns.  The first, a 4-yarder to Jamaal Jones, put the Griz up 7-0 near the end of the first quarter.  The second was a 26-yard strike to Ellis Henderson that made it 14-0.

Jeremy Calhoun plunged in from two yards out with under a minute to play in the second quarter to make it 24-0.

The second half was a completely different story.

Montana gained 15 yards on their first 15 plays - five drives that ended in five punts.  SDSU quarterback Taryn Christion, meanwhile, led back-to-back scoring drives in the 3rd, the second a 1-yard QB keeper for the Jacks first touchdown to make it 24-10.

Christion then threw a 30-yard TD to Dallas Goedert on 4th and 19 with 4:40 to play to pull SDSU within a score at 24-17.  But Nguyen and Gustafson never gave Christion and the Jacks another chance.

Montana now advances to the next round of the FCS playoffs.  They'll travel to four-time defending national champions North Dakota State next Saturday, Dec. 5, for a game that will be a rematch of the college football kickoff this season.  Montana beat NDSU, 38-35, on a Joey Counts TD run with four seconds left in Missoula.

Kickoff in Fargo is set for 1:30 pm MDT. 

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