- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana and Montana State football teams will begin preparing for the 2014 season with spring drills.

Montana is scheduled to begin its spring drills on Saturday, while the Bobcats spring camp opens on March 18.

Montana returns 14 starters, including halfback Jordan Canada, wide receiver Ellis Henderson and quarterback Jordan Johnson on offense and free safety Matt Hermanson and end Zach Wagenmann on defense. But they’re losing several standout players including linebacker Jordan Tripp, a consensus All-American who is expected to be drafted by an NFL team in May.

Montana’s scrimmages are scheduled for March 22, April 12 and April 17 and the Griz open the season on Aug. 30 at Wyoming.

Montana State, meanwhile, will be looking to replace several key players including four-year starting quarterback DeNarius McGhee, running back Cody Kirk and defensive end Brad Daly, the Buck Buchanan Award winner. MSU returns its entire offensive line and linebacker corps.

The Bobcats hold their Triangle Classic Scrimmage in Great Falls on April 12 and their Sonny Holland Classic in Bozeman on April 19.

MSU opens the 2014 season on Aug. 30 at Arkansas State.