Running back and returner Peter Nguyen was named Montana’s 2012 Steve Carlson Award winner, given annually to the football team’s most valuable player.
The awards ceremony was held Sunday and Griz coach Mick Delaney dished out the hardware at the Doubletree Hotel.
Nguyen, a senior from Seattle, led the Grizzlies in rushing with 926 yards this season. He finished ranked sixth in career rush yards with 1,985 and all-purpose yards with 4,338.
Montana State will spend this Saturday playing a game against Portland State in Bozeman while the Griz will be getting a jump on preparation for that huge clash. But Montana players admit, it’s not easy waiting for the big day to come.
“Really tough. Especially for me, or I bet all the seniors, just cause it’s going to be our last game. But right now, I think I’m just trying to focus up and learn as much as I can about them, and about what I need to do to prepare for the best game I can have,” running back Peter Nguyen said.
video of Nguyen’s 90 yard touchdown reception: Griz have extra time to prep for Cats | KPAX.com | Missoula, Montana.
Smithwick-Hann’s longest pass was a screen to Peter Nguyen that the senior running back – who also rushed for 103 yards – took 72 yards down to Weber 14. That set up Jordan Canada’s 4-yard touchdown run, putting Montana up 10-7 at 3:32 of the second quarter.
Peter Nguyen ran for 107 yards on 11 carries to lead the Montana Grizzlies to a crushing defeat over Idaho State 70-24. Nguyen had a 50 yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter.
Peter Nguyen leads ground attack with 159 yards on 15 carries as Montana gets 1st Big Sky win, 40-17 over Northern Colorado
Trent McKinney and Nate Harris also scored rushing touchdowns for the Grizzlies (3-3, 1-2 Big Sky), who totaled 294 yards rushing. Peter Nguyen’s 159 yards is a career high.
Montana led just 10-0 at halftime, and Dominic Gunn made it 10-7 when he returned the second-half kickoff 98 yards for a score for the Bears (1-4, 0-2). It was all Grizzlies after that.
RB Peter Nguyen
MISSOULA, Mont. — Peter Nguyen ran a punt back 90 yards for a touchdown Saturday to pace Montana to a 34-14 win over Liberty.
After a slow opening 10 minutes, Nguyen brought the crowd to its feet with a jaunt down the left side of the field to give Montana a 7-0 lead. Nguyen also added 25 yards rushing on 6 carries.
MISSOULA, MONTANA (Sept. 1, 2012) – The University of Montana Grizzlies’ two senior running backs rushed for more than 100 yards each, as the 10th/11th-ranked host Grizzlies defeated the University of South Dakota Coyotes 35-24 in the season opener for the teams Saturday afternoon in front of 25,156 partisan fans in UM’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Dan Moore had career-highs of 27 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown, while fellow UM senior halfback Peter Nguyen had 19 totes for 102 yards and a score. The Grizzlies picked up a school-record 34 first downs in the win.
Peter Nguyen also had 4 receptions for 23 yards. Nguyen and Montana next plays Appalachian State this Saturday 9/8 at 4:30 PM Mountain Time on ESPN3.com
Peter Nguyen touchdown run at the 11:50 mark,
The rest of the backfield is expected to be a strength for the Griz, with three of the team’s top four rushers returning this season. Shifty senior halfback and return specialist Peter Nguyen (5-8, 182) led the team with 870 yards on the ground (5.5 yard average) and added three touchdowns last season. Speedy sophomore Jordan Canada (5-9, 172) had a pair of breakout games and added 613 yards (5.1 per carry) and a team-high nine touchdowns. Bruising senior Dan Moore (5-11, 235) is also expected to be healthy after returning from an injury late last season with big performances — adding 472 yards and seven scores.
“I feel really, really good about our running backs,” Delaney said. “It should be, along with our three (returning starters) offensive linemen and our tight end, strong points for us on the offensive side of the ball.
“Obviously, Peter Nguyen is a little guy who has quick feet, great vision, and is physical and a great pass blocker for his size. … Then Dan, on the other hand, has the size at 230-plus pounds, and he can be tremendously physical. He’s a guy that you send in the game on third-and-one and tell him to get the first down and he can do that. Then you throw Jordan Canada in, and he’s … had some flashes of being a big-time college running back.”
Peter Nguyen‘s 57 yards on just 7 carries was enough for Montana Grizzlies to beat Northern Iowa 45-10 and help Montana advance to the semi-finals round of the FCS playoffs. Peter Nguyen had a big 37 yard run to help setup his 10 yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter to bust the game open. See below for Peter Nguyen highlights and all touches,
Heading into their quarterfinal showdown with Northern Iowa Friday night in Missoula, the Grizzlies are playing their best football at the perfect time. Quarterback Jordan Johnson has rushed for 356 yards in a zone/read option ground game that is essentially a four-headed monster. Peter Nguyen leads the way with 768 yards, while fellow running backs Jordan Canada and Dan Moore have amassed 532 and 375 yards, respectively.
The game is set for a 8 p.m. EST kickoff Friday night at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, and will be broadcast on ESPN. The winner advances to the semifinal round to play the winner of a quarterfinal matchup between Montana State and Sam Houston State.
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.
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How about those Montana running backs? The Grizzlies rushed for an impressive 309 yards today, as Peter Nguyen and Dan Moore were giving the Bobcats fits all day. Peter Nguyen had 19 carries for 123 yards, and Dan Moore had 15 carries for 116 yards. Another outstanding stat for the Grizzly offense today? Zero turnovers.
I was really impressed by Nguyen’s open field running ability, and Moore running over Bobcat defenders consistently. If these two keep on playing like this, the Grizzlies should have a great chance to make it to the FCS National Championship game for the eighth time in school history.
Peter Nguyen rushed for a career-best 149 yards to spark a University of Montana offense that lost quarterback Jordan Johnson to a first-quarter elbow injury.
Backup QB Kemp hit Sam Gratton (7 catches, 85 yards) and Sambrano with passes, but it was Nguyen - playing while injured backs Dan Moore, Beau Donaldson and Jordan Canada looked on – who sparked things with runs of 9 and 14 yards.
“I was really excited,” said the junior running back. “It’s different not having Jordan or Dan, or Beau. I was looking forward to it, and it was great to play more.”
Nguyen picked up 6 more yards when Pflugrad eschewed another field goal attempt and went for it on fourth-and-1 from Western’s 7.
The Griz scored on the next play to go up 22-7, but the TD came from freshman Brett Kirschner. Nguyen had been dazed by a big hit on the sideline.
“He just hit me in a good spot, on my side,” he said.
The Griz are thankful for a bye week ahead of the 111th Brawl of the Wild.
“The time is here to start preparing,” said Pflugrad. “First and foremost we have to get healthy. As Peter said, a lot of his buddies in the running back stable are sidelined, and that’s a group that needs to heal up.
“Because when Peter went down on that sideline it was like, ‘Peter, you can’t go down.’ That was our whole mentality: ‘That’s not acceptable.’ “
The atmosphere will slowly build for the Griz over the next two weeks, ahead of what will be the Big Sky’s title game against the No. 2 Bobcats.
“It’s probably the biggest game of the season for us,” Nguyen said. “We have a couple extra days to prepare for them, and we’re just going to come ready.”
Fritz Neighbor can be reached at 523-5247 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.