The Montana Tech Orediggers are picked to finish fourth in the Frontier Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Tuesday. College of Idaho was selected to win the Frontier Conference championship by the league coaches.
The Yotes received five first place votes. Southern Oregon received two votes and Montana Western received one vote.
The Orediggers finished 5-5 last season and sixth in the Frontier Conference. The Oredigger rushing attack ranked second in the Frontier average 173.6 yards per game while the defense ranked fourth allowing 134.4 rushing yards per game.
Montana Tech returns seven starters on the offensive side of the ball, including two-time first team all-conference running back Jed Fike who rushed for 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Fike has led the Frontier Conference in rushing the past two seasons. Defensively, Montana Tech returns six starters including defensive backs Tucker Rauthe and Justin May who led the team in tackles a season ago.
Montana Tech head coach Chuck Morrell is entering his ninth season at the helm for the Orediggers with a 46-40 overall record. Morrell’s Orediggers are 31-13 in the last four seasons and 29-11 in the Frontier. Coach Morrell is 29-15 at home in his career and 18-4 the last four seasons.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. First place was worth seven points, second place worth six points and so on.
Montana Tech opens up the 2019 season at home against College of Idaho on Sept. 7 on the Bob Green Field. The game will kick off 1 p.m.
2019 Football Preseason Coaches’ Poll
- College of Idaho (5) 44
- Southern Oregon (2) 40
- Western (1) 31.5
- Montana Tech 30
- Rocky 29
- Eastern Oregon 28.5
- Carroll 13
- Northern 8
College of Idaho was also selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2019 Frontier Conference football championship in a poll of the league’s media and sports information directors receiving five first place votes.
Southern Oregon received three first place votes and is the media’s pick to finish second. Montana Western also received three place votes and is picked to finish third.
Eastern Oregon is fourth followed by defending conference champion Rocky Mountain
College, Montana Tech, Carroll College and MSU-Northern.
2019 Football Preseason Media Poll
- College of Idaho (5) 99
- Southern Oregon (3) 95
- Western (3) 85
- Eastern (1) 72
- Rocky (2) 71
- Montana Tech (1) 64
- Carroll 39
- Northern 15
— Montana Tech