MISSOULA — It was a long two years to wait for the 120th Brawl of the Wild and with all the excitement surrounding the game, Montana State’s offense came out with a dud as the Bobcats lost to the Montana Grizzlies 29-10.
“You feel terrible for our guys because you could hear it in their voices, they wanted this," head coach Brent Vigen said. "It’s not a matter of us understanding the gravity of this game or not wanting it. Sometimes football just takes its twists and turns.”
Montana State finished the game with a measly 204 total yards. They only had 108 through the air and the Griz sacked Cats' quarterback Matthew McKay four times. In the past two games, McKay has thrown for a total of 212 passing yards. The Cats scored their only touchdown of the game with 48 seconds left.
“We knew exactly what they were doing, it was just up to us to execute so we just got to go out there and make plays," McKay said about the Griz defense. "We knew exactly all the blitzes and stuff that they were bringing — so it was on us.”
“I just felt like Matt was on his heels a lot," said Vigen. "Whether he was seeing guys or guys were really there or we missed some blocks, it was a probably a combination of all of that."
With nothing working in the first half, Troy Andersen was inserted into the offense to create a spark. The Cats then went on to go three and out.
“I don’t know if that was necessarily the situation that we intended on using him, but our backs were certainly against the wall relative when that was in the game," said the head coach. "I guess trying to light a fire and make a play.”
On the ground, Montana State’s potent rushing attack was held in check. At the end of the game they were held to 2.3 yards per carry. Dealing with an injury coming into the game, Isaiah Ifanse, the leading Big Sky rusher, had under three yards per rush on Saturday and only totaled 50 yards on the ground.
“We really had to get him going, I guess and it didn’t really happen," said Vigen. "He was a guy we didn’t get in the flow today.”
Now Montana State awaits their playoff seeding fate which starts at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, which can be watched on ESPNU.
“I think for us, right now, 9-2, we’ll see where our playoff fate lies. We got a season in front of us and we can’t let this game define us. It hurts, though,” Vigen said.