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Gazette Staff andAssociated Press

BOZEMAN - Rocky Mountain College is out and Adams State is in concerning the Montana State football schedule for the upcoming fall.

The Division I-AA Bobcats were scheduled to play the NAIA Bears of the Frontier Conference on Sept. 14.

But MSU officials abruptly announced that the football team will now play Adams State, an NCAA Division II program, on Sept. 21 and Rocky was no longer on the schedule.

The re-shuffling has MSU hosting Adams State on Sept. 21. The following week, the Bobcats will travel to Division I Washington State and then have a bye week.

MSU was 5-6 last season with a pair of losses to Division I WSU and Alabama-Birmingham. Adams State was 2-9 last year.

The Bobcats open the 2002 season with an Aug. 31 home game against St. Mary's of Calif.Thomas throws for 2 TDs Montana State coach Mike Kramer is downright exuberant about the play of quarterback Tyler Thomas in his team's two spring scrimmages.

Thomas completed 12 of 16 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns Friday in the Bobcats' second scrimmage.

Thomas has not thrown an interception in either of the scrimmages, and three of Friday's incompletions were dropped passes.

"Today was another giant step forward by a great quarterback," Kramer said. "You're not going to be great on offense in the Big Sky Conference unless your quarterback plays that way."

Tyler led the conference in interceptions last year, and he's determined to improve.

"Today, throwing with the wind, against the wind, sideways to the wind, that was a good demonstration as I've been around in the spring," Kramer said.

Thomas led the offensive unit to touchdowns in his first three possessions. The first drive was a five-play, 70-yard drive capped by a 9-yard pass to Wyoming transfer Kolby Drube, who caught four passes for 71 yards.

Thomas found Corey Smith on a 70-yard bomb on the second drive and running back Camron King scored on a 9-yard run on the third drive. King rushed seven times for 14 yards.

The fourth score was a 31-yard pass from backup John Knokey to Scott Turnquist, who returned to spring drills after a bout with mono.

"Turnquist is a major part of this offense," Kramer said. "He's one of the guys that runs the best routes on the team, that's why he's a starter. To miss a starter and have him come back only helps us."

The Bobcats totaled 239 yards on offense, but just 26 yards on 11 rushes.

"Running back's a concern," Kramer said. "We had one run for 20 yards on a draw on which the safety made the tackle. I don't think we've gotten past the safety yet in 11 practices. We're tackling well in the secondary, but our running game is a long ways away."

The defense registered five sacks, including three by Jason Nicastro. Nicastro also had a tackle for a loss.

Montana State has one more week of spring drills.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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