The 2014 college football season couldn’t have started much worse for the Montana Tech football team.
Montana Western used a short field to score on its first three possessions Saturday night in Dillon, and the Bulldogs routed the Orediggers 38-6 at Vigilante Field.
Montana Tech, though, isn’t dwelling on the loss as the team prepares for Saturday night’s home opener against the MSU-Northern Lights.
“Ten minutes is the same as 10,000 years ago,” Montana Tech coach Chuck Morrell said Thursday. “We cannot go back — no matter how much we want to — and change history. We have to learn from it and move on.”
While the loss clearly stung the Orediggers, Morrell said it has not changed the high expectations it has for itself.
“You only need to play bad for five or six minutes in this league to lose a game,” the coach said. “We obviously played bad in the first quarter, and that’s enough to take you out of a game in this league. You can’t let a bad play turn into a bad series, turn into a bad quarter. That’s certainly what happened to is.”
Morrell said the loss in front of a fired-up Montana Western crowd wasn’t because his team lacked intensity.
“I don’t think it was due to a lack of focus or effort out of our guys,” he said. “We hurt ourselves really badly by compounding a string of bad plays together, and obviously Western was on fire. Those guys were ready to go, and every time they had an opportunity they took advantage of the situation.”
The coach pointed out that the season is still very young. At this point in 2013, the Orediggers were still more than a week away from playing their first game.
“We talked to the guys about not letting one quarter define our season,” Morrell said. “It’s very early in the process. We had a terrible first quarter down in Dillon, but we can’t let that define us.”
The key, the coach said, is learning from the loss and moving on.
“The travesty of Saturday is not necessarily a loss, it’s if we fail to learn from a loss,” Morrell said. “It’s a learning process. If we can learn lessons from what happened and we can advance and get better, then it might be something down the road that pays off for us.
“The real failure will be if we didn’t learn anything from a week ago.”
The Orediggers and Lights kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday on the Bob Green Field.