Four downs: Montana State hits benchmark with sold-out game against Idaho | National sports

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Brent Vigen has said the state of Montana will avoid revolving conversations and game plans around anything more than his next opponent.

The Bobcats head coach noted that even the top-ranked Big Sky teams can falter against those that have lost records. And the Vandals (3-6, 2-4 Big Sky) are a respectable team, Vigen said, and the No.3-ranked Bobcats (8-1, 6-0) should treat them as such when playing at 1. pm Saturday at Bobcat Stadium for the last home game of MSU’s regular season and senior day.

“There’s no reason that mindset should change or that our guys shouldn’t be able to live in the moment,” Vigen said. “Let’s take a look at our preparation for Idaho and give them the best of ourselves. “

MSU achieves historic achievement

Ahead of Vigen’s weekly press conference on Monday, MSU sporting director Leon Costello announced that the Bobcats sold their game on Saturday, meaning they sold all home games during the regular season. . This is the first time that MSU has done this.

Costello said it was financially “huge” for MSU’s sports department, which faced challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. In the five home games so far in 2021, the average attendance is 19,635. Costello said the support boosts the sports department in its quest to support Bobcats athletes in all sports.

“Thank you to all of our fans, to everyone who supported us,” said Costello. “Our fans are simply the best, and they show it time and time again.”

Vigen, in his first year at MSU, was impressed with the support of the program. That includes games at places like Ogden, Utah, and last week in Cheney, Washington.

“Everywhere we went, our audience made a difference,” said Vigen. “What this means for us and ultimately the obstacle it creates for our opponents is difficult to quantify.”

Costello said it was made possible by a “perfect storm”. This included the Bobcats playing at a “championship caliber” as well as fans keen to be together and attend games after not being able to do so in 2020.

“It’s been a long road,” said Costello. “It’s been a long time coming, but that’s why we do what we do is to have times like (MSU’s victory in East Washington last week) and to have times like we’re going to have here on the road. “

Costello said standing tickets are still available. He encouraged people to arrive for Saturday’s game 30 minutes before kick-off to see the MSU seniors honored.

Vandals are a threat

Vigen doesn’t think Idaho’s record reflects what he’s capable of.

Mike Beaudry, a transfer from UConn, paces Idaho’s offense at quarterback. He has 1,299 yards, four touchdowns and a 64.3 success rate with six interceptions.

Idaho’s Terez Traynor caught 46 passes for 640 yards and two touchdowns. Roshaun Johnson leads the Vandals on rushing with 375 yards on 69 carries with 10 TDs. Vigen noted that Idaho has players at their skill stations with a variety of skills, which can be difficult to prepare.

Vigen said Idaho defensive coordinator Mike Breske, who worked with Vigen in North Dakota state, has a “very good defensive spirit.” On this side of the ball, Tre Walker leads the Vandals with 89 tackles. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound junior linebacker has been named all-American during his career.

“I think talent always scares you. I think talent is always on alert. I hope our players, I think they are mature enough to recognize the talent as well, ”said Vigen. “We fully understand that no one is going to lie down for us and we’re not so talented that we can just win on talent alone. We must be prepared.

Tuiasosopo is expected to return on Saturday

Vigen said Monday that the Bobcats expect senior offensive lineman Taylor Tuiasosopo to play against Idaho this week. Vigen said on Saturday that Tuiasosopo didn’t play last week because he broke team rules, but didn’t develop further.

Vigen added that true first-year wide receiver Andrew Patterson is gradually recovering from an injury and he is hoping to play this week. The Bobcats have no new players they will miss due to injuries, Vigen said.

Vigen praised Dylan Porter and Joe McElroy for their contributions as they both played guard with Tuiasosopo on the sidelines.

“Throughout the season, they waited backstage and braced for their opportunity,” said Vigen. “They didn’t need to be more than the best version of themselves, and I thought they both did and I think it was very meaningful to both of them, but it’s important to the team that they just come out and do their job.

“College GameDay” atmosphere?

Montana, Montana State and Big Sky social media accounts, along with other entities, strongly insisted that ESPN’s “College GameDay” go to Missoula for the game “Cat -Griz “next week.

MSU’s head coach knows the impact the show can have on a program. Vigen was the North Dakota State Offensive Coordinator when the Bison hosted the show in Fargo, North Dakota in 2013.

Vigen said he was in disbelief when he first found out about it eight years ago. The Bison were in the middle of a race for their third straight national title. Vigen traveled to Wyoming before the NDSU hosted him again in 2014.

Vigen said it would be nice if “College GameDay” went to Treasure State.

“It’s a credit for ESPN to recognize that there are great games and great sites and great programs beyond the FBS,” said Vigen. “It’s good for college football. It’s good for the FCS to have the light on it because every college football fan’s eyes are probably on “College GameDay” so we’ll see how it goes, but it would be a great experience. “


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