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Three takeaways from Monmouth’s road loss to Montana

Playing in front of the largest crowd to watch the program, Monmouth fell to Montana 47-27 on Saturday.

Monmouth traveled to Missoula, Montana to face the 19th ranked Montana Grizzlies on Saturday. The Hawks put up a valiant effort but fell to Montana 47-27 in front of over 23,00 fans. 

While some positives could be taken from this game, there were many issues that Monmouth must clean up before their next game against Wagner. Let’s start with the defensive difficulties over the last two week. 

Monmouth’s Defense Can Not Stop Anyone

Montana is a different team than Albany, whom Monmouth played last week. However, the message is the same. The Hawks are having trouble in all aspects of defense. Here are some numbers to back up that statement: 

  • Since leading Albany 21-0 in the second quarter last week, Monmouth has allowed 71 points in the last six quarters they have played. 
  • Monmouth has allowed 1,090 yards of total offense over the last two games
  • 11 touchdowns have bn allowed by Monmouth’s defense over the last two weeks

Monmouth has had trouble stopping anyone over the last two weeks. A bye week may be a good way for the coaching staff to figure out what the issues are. One of the significant issues have been redshirt senior and secondary leader Tymere Berry being banged up seemingly since the season began. Playing a nationally ranked team on the road, most expected that Monmouth would struggle so this week’s loss was almost a given. The Albany defensive implosion last week is an entirely different story. 

“We came out here knowing that we were going to have to put out a really solid effort on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game to give ourselves a chance,” said Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan. “For the most part we did a lot of really good things out there today, but in the end we didn’t do enough good things to come away with a win. We had a couple of big plays against us that hurt us.”

Pressure on the quarterback is critical for the Hawks going forward. They are currently second in the Big South with eight sacks, but four of those came against Lafayette. For Monmouth to get back on track, they must cut down the time quarterbacks have to throw. That creates pressure and mistakes that could work out in the Hawks favor. 

Kenji Bahar Is Dynamic…But We Knew That Already

Bahar, the preseason All-Big South Player of the Year, passed for 393 yards and two touchdowns against Montana. On the season, the senior has thrown for almost 1,100 and seven touchdowns. He also has a score on the ground for an offense that is explosive and will get into shootouts. After Monmouth announced that sophomore running back Juwon Farri would not play this season, the pressure increased on Bahar. Having both Farri and Pete Guerriero as a one-two punch, Bahar could lean on the run and use it to set up the pass. There will be a target on him now that one weapon for Monmouth is gone. He has played well up to this point, but his great play will have to continue throughout the season. 

Monmouth Plays In Front of the Biggest Crowd Ever

As a Monmouth graduate and former Hawk radio announcer (shout out to Monmouth radio WMCX 88.9FM) who traveled to small Northeast Conference schools that drew almost nothing, Saturday’s game was big. Seeing Monmouth play in front of 23,000 fans showed how big the program has gotten since my time there. Yes it was a Montana crowd, but those fans saw a budding star in Bahar and Lonnie Moore IV become the Hawks new go-to receiver (7 catches, 104 yards, 1 TD) on Saturday.

Monmouth is not Alabama. Heck, they are not even Montana. With that said, the growth of Monmouth football over the 15 years is pretty significant and should be acknowledged. The Hawks are on the radar throughout the Northeast. Hopefully, the football team will be recognized nationally as well soon. 

Up Next For The Hawks

The Hawks will travel to Staten Island to face former NEC rival Wagner on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow DoubleGSports.com writer Jason Cordner.
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