SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The pregame billing was for a shootout in the scorching heat.
Last week notwithstanding, Montana State has been prodigious on offense through five games thanks to an array of talented, explosive skill guys and young, exuberant athletes that have risen to the occasion when their numbers have been called.
A look at Saturday's games:
Third down. It's the play on which every drive hinges. Montana State has been pretty up-and-down in these situations: Through five games the Bobcats have converted roughly 39 percent of their third-down plays, which ranks in the middle of the pack in the Big Sky Conference.
Montana State and Sacramento State have played some thrillers over the years, not the least of which was a 64-61 overtime shootout the Bobcats won under the bursting California sun on Oct. 2, 2010.
Wideouts Mitch Griebel and Brian Flotkoetter are roommates, so their connection runs deeper than simply being members of the same position group for 13th-ranked Montana State.
A look at the Week 6 matchups for the Bobcats and Grizzlies, plus three other games of note in the Big Sky Conference:
Montana’s Travon Van won’t compromise about where he’s best suited on a football field. The coaches at Marshall, Van's former school, surely couldn't get him to change his mind.
BOZEMAN — Montana State celebrated its past and got a look at its future on Saturday, and the view is pretty good.
Montana State wore throwback uniforms honoring the 1984 national championship team in its homecoming game against North Dakota. The Bobcats won the conference opener, 29-18.
Wearing throwback uniforms to honor the 30th anniversary of its 1984 national championship, Montana State did what it had to do to get a 29-18 victory over North Dakota on Saturday in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.
BOZEMAN — With one final defensive stop last week, Montana State would have knocked off No. 2-ranked Eastern Washington and taken a huge measure of momentum into its all-important Big Sky Conference opener.
A look at Saturday's games:
Thirty years of history — and a great deal of emotion — will flood Bobcat Stadium on Saturday when Montana State commemorates its most significant football moment in a generation.
Shawn Johnson fashioned a huge performance even though Montana State let one slip away last week against Eastern Washington. Johnson’s totals: 150 rushing yards, 62 receiving yards, 162 return yards and three touchdowns.
Big Sky football: Five games to watch
Montana State and Eastern Washington played an instant classic. It was two prolific offenses piling up yards and points, racing up and down the field at a blistering pace.
BOZEMAN -- It was as good a game as you’ll see, a classic Big Sky Conference matchup between parallel rivals running and chucking the ball all over the field.
Quarterback Vernon Adams led Eastern Washington to a game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion with 27 seconds left at Montana State. The No. 2-ranked Eagles won 52-51, despite five total touchdowns from MSU quarterback Dakota Prukop.
BOZEMAN — Have you ever run a marathon? Ever sprint the entire 26.2 miles?
Have you caught your breath yet? It was a back-and-forth thriller between the Bobcats and Eastern Washington. The Eagles, with Vernon Adams leading them on a frenetic fourth-quarter drive, prevailed 52-51. The Bobcats had a chance at the end but Dakota Prukop's Hail Mary fell incomplete.
BOZEMAN — Coach Rob Ash closed practice to the media this week, so there’s no telling what Montana State has cooked up to try to curtail quick-strike Eastern Washington.
Cats at a glance
BOZEMAN — Taylor Dees has fought the “undersized” stigma throughout his career at Montana State. At 6-foot-2 and 270 pounds, Dees lacks the girth and stature of a prototypical interior defensive lineman.
BOZEMAN — When it was over and the dust from a 54-29 loss to Eastern Washington had settled, Montana State defensive coordinator Jamie Marshall plopped down in the team bus, shuffled the music on his iPhone, and Daniel Powter’s hit song “Bad Day” began playing.