If the past is any indication, the Montana State/Southern Utah game Saturday afternoon in Bozeman will go down to the wire. The Bobcats and Thurderbirds have met only three times prior, and MSU has won each time. But they've all been close.
Here's a look at how the three previous meetings went:
• Sept. 29, 2012 -- MSU QB DeNarius McGhee throws a 3-yard touchdown pass to Brian Flotkoetter to break a tie with 2:59 remaining. Brad Sorensen and Southern Utah answer with a 14-play drive to the Cats' 27 yard line, but MSU safety Steven Bethley intercepts Sorensen in the end zone on the final play to close the game. BOBCATS 24, THUNDERBIRDS 17
• Oct. 6, 2007 -- In the mud at Bobcat Stadium, MSU's defense forces turnovers on two of Southern Utah's final three possessions. Cats linebacker Bobby Daly makes 17 tackles, and Aaron Mason's 7-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter stands up as the only touchdown. It is the fewest combined single-game points in the history of Bobcat Stadium. BOBCATS 7, THUNDERBIRDS 3
• Oct. 9, 1993 -- The Bobcats trail 31-23 at halftime, but shut out the Thunderbirds in the second half. An interception by Anthony Ferguson sets up MSU's winning drive. The Cats convert two third-down plays, and tailback Fred Moore scores the winning points on a sweep from 2 yards out. Cats safety Morgan Ryan seals the win with an INT on the next possession. BOBCATS 32, THUNDERBIRDS 31
Will this week's game follow suit? Not sure. The only thing that's certain is that both teams are 7-3 and need to win to bolster their playoff credentials. This is an important game.
The Bobcats' defense looks to rebound after a 54-29 loss at Eastern Washington last week. Offensively, the Cats are playing great. In the loss to EWU, MSU possessed the ball for more than 37 minutes, achieved 30 first downs and put up more than 500 yards. But defensively, they were dominated. Now is the time for a bounce-back.