Jul 11, 2012 7:17 PM by Scott Breen - Q2 Sports
MISSOULA - The Southern Conference and ESPN announced on Wednesday that this season's Montana versus Appalachian State football match-up will kick off at 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) on Sept. 8, and be televised nationally on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN3.
The telecast will be produced as part of the SoCon's live broadcast agreement with ESPN. ESPN GamePlan is the network's nationwide pay-per-view platform, which means fans will have to pay to watch it. ESPN3 is available online, but most Montana providers don't carry ESPN3.
The game in Boone, N.C., marks the first in a two-game home-and-home series between two of the premier and most successful Division I FCS programs. Since 2005, ASU and UM are the nation's winningest FCS programs with 79 and 76 victories, respectively.
The Grizzlies (1995 and 2001) and Mountaineers (2005, 2006, 2007) have combined for five national championships - all since 1995, along with 10 FCS championship game appearances, and 40 postseason berths. The Mountaineers are scheduled to play the Grizzlies in Missoula next season, on August 31, 2013.
The two FCS powerhouses have met twice before, in the semifinals of the 2000 NCAA Division I-AA playoffs and the 2009 NCAA Division I Football Championship twice in Missoula. The Grizzlies narrowly won both games - defeating the Mountaineers 19-16 in overtime in 2000 and turning the Mountaineers away from the three- yard line twice in the closing seconds of a 24-17 Griz win in 2009. The 2009 thriller was televised live on ESPN and was the highest-rated FCS game ever according to data compiled by the Nielsen Company and the NCAA.
Six of Montana's Big Sky Conference games will be televised by ROOT Sports. Those games include home encounters against Northern Arizona, Idaho State, and Montana State, along with road contests at Eastern Washington, Northern Colorado, North Dakota, and Weber State. All of those ROOT Sports broadcasts begin at 1:30 (Mtn.), except the game against the Eagles in Cheney which starts at 5:00 (Mtn.)
The Grizzlies' league game against new Big Sky member Southern Utah will be broadcast by Max media of Montana, and starts at 1:30 p.m. UM is also in the negotiation process to televise its two home non-league games which are against South Dakota and Liberty, although nothing concrete has been arranged at this time.
"Learfield and Grizzly Athletics are looking at several different options for those two games (South Dakota and Liberty), and we hope to have a resolution soon," said Jean Gee, UM's interim athletics director.
2012 MONTANA GRIZZLY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 1-South Dakota (Griz FB Parents's Day)- 1:30 p.m. (Tent.)
Sept. 8-at Appalachian State (ESPN GamePlan & ESPN3)-4:30 p.m.
Sept. 15-Liberty (Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame Game)-1:30 p.m. (Tent.)
Sept. 22-#Northern Arizona* (Homecoming)-1:30 p.m.
Sept. 29- #at Eastern Washington*-5:00 p.m.
Oct. 6-#at Northern Colorado*-1:30 p.m.
Oct. 13-^Southern Utah* (Pink Game)-1:30 p.m.
Oct. 20-#at North Dakota*-1:30 p.m.
Oct. 27-#Idaho State* (Military Appreciation Game)-1:30 p.m.
Nov. 3-#at Weber State*-1:30 p.m.
Nov. 17-#Montana State* (112th meeting)-1:30 p.m.
*=Big Sky Conference game
#=Televised on ROOT Sports
^=Televised by Max Media