Montana cruises to 43-20 win over Southern Utah

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) Brady Gustafson threw for 415 yards and four touchdowns Saturday, leading the Montana Grizzlies past Southern Utah 43-20.

Gustafson, a senior quarterback, completed 27 of 50 passes and had one pass intercepted. His scoring strikes to John Nguyen, Justin Calhoun and Josh Horner fueled a string of 27 points that put the Grizzlies (3-1, 1-1 Big Sky) in command.

A 28-yard strike to Nguyen put Montana ahead for good, 15-14, with 6:59 left in the second quarter. Horner hauled in a 10-yard pass to put the Grizzlies up 29-14 early in the second half, and Jeremy Calhoun's first of two scoring runs, covering eight yards, made it 36-14 midway through the third quarter.

Justin Calhoun's TD covered 43 yards, and put Montana up 22-14 with 16 seconds left in the first half. James Homan caught a 3-yard scoring strike as well for the Griz.

Southern Utah (2-2, 1-1) took leads of 7-3 and 14-9 on touchdown passes from Patrick Tyler to Mike Sharp. Sharp ended up with three scoring receptions, giving him 19 since the start of the 2015 season. Tyler threw for 169 yards for Southern Utah, completing 16 of 41 passes. The Thunderbirds' Malik Brown ran for 114 yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN UTAH: The Thunderbirds faltered late in the first half against a strong pass rush by Montana, and couldn't contain the hosts' passing game.

MONTANA: The Grizzlies, ranked No. 11 in the Football Championship Subdivision, bounced back from a narrow loss at Cal Poly last week for its first Big Sky Conference win. The offensive piled up 627 yards.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN UTAH: The Thunderbirds return to Cedar City to face Big Sky foe UC Davis Saturday at 6 p.m. Mountain.

MONTANA: The Grizzlies stay home, facing Mississippi Valley State in a non-league game Saturday at 2:30 p.m.