CHENEY - Close proximity and fierce competition are key elements of a rivalry. Those two factors have fueled Eastern Washington's series with Montana.
This week the Griz make the drive west from Missoula for the next installment of a rivalry that typically seems to have major Big Sky Conference implications.
For the 11th time in 17 seasons both squads are ranked in the top-25, EWU at No. 7, and Montana 21st. The rivals are the two winningest teams in the conference in the last decade - with Montana tops in the league - and account for at least a share of the last 17 conference championships.
Eastern knows a win can go a long way towards a Big Sky title, and it shows when the two teams get on the field.
"You can just see that there's no love lost," Eags defensive lineman Evan Cook said. "It's just always a fun game, it's exciting. They come out pumped up, we come out pumped up. It's the thing you love most about competing."
Kickoff at Roos Field is Saturday at 4:15 p.m.