BOZEMAN — Ty Gregorak remembers wondering who South Dakota State would roll out at quarterback when Gregorak’s former team prepared to face SDSU in the first round of the 2015 FCS playoffs.
Four years ago, the Jackrabbits waffled between athletic but inconsistent senior Zach Lujan and upstart redshirt freshman Taryn Christion. When South Dakota State came to Missoula to take on Gregorak’s Montana Grizzlies, the choice ended up being the rookie.
Gregorak, UM’s defensive coordinator at the time, remembers acknowledging Christion’s presence but concentrating much harder on slowing down SDSU’s more proven offensive weapons like wide receiver Jake Wieneke, tight end Dallas Goedert and running back Brady Mengarelli.
All three SDSU standouts graduated last season, Goedert moving on as the No. 49 overall selection in the NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and Wieneke finishing as the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s career leader in catches, yards and touchdowns. The trio played a key role in helping the Jackrabbits advance to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs a year ago.
Four years later, Gregorak is in his third season as the defensive coordinator at Montana State. This week, his Bobcat defense is preparing to slow down an SDSU attack devoid of the aforementioned three stars but still spurred on by the now veteran Christion.
Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.