Montana v Butler
Getty Images

Led by senior quarterback Clifton McDowell, the Montana Grizzlies went into the Kibbie Dome and knocked off No. 3 Idaho 23-21 in the biggest FCS game (and result) of the weekend. McDowell's performance wasn't overly dynamic, but it was extremely efficient and exactly what the Grizzlies needed to win. 

On the other side of the ball, the defense was outstanding from start to finish. Coach Bobby Hauck's group forced multiple turnovers and held Idaho scoreless for the first half. When you're maximizing offensive drives and holding one of the best teams in the subdivision to 1.8 yards per carry on defense, you're going to end up on the positive side of the scoreboard.

This was the Grizzlies' best performance of the season because it was a total team effort. It's one that could help navigate Montana the rest of the way through what looks to be a gauntlet to end their season; Sacramento State, Portland State and Montana State are on deck in Montana's last three games. 

While the Grizzlies do own the head-to-head matchup over the Vandals, it is hard to overlook how they've done over the course of the entirety of the season: Close wins over Ferris State (albeit the reigning Division II national champions), Idaho State and UC Davis, coupled with a loss to Northern Arizona. 

The way Montana weathered the storm against the Vandals indicates those aforementioned "coin flips" may have prepared it for this moment. If this is a sign of things to come, the Grizzlies may usurp Idaho in the standings. For now, they've closed the gap significantly with their movement up this week's power rankings.

Let's get to this week's FCS Power Rankings.