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A game of 'firsts' helps Montana State cruise by the University of San Diego

DB Ty Okada takes the ball into the end zone on his pick-six
Posted at 12:35 PM, Sep 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-19 14:35:04-04

BOZEMAN — In Montana State’s 52-10 win over San Diego on Saturday, one player scored his first offensive touchdown, two players scored their first defensive touchdowns and they all had different reactions: One player blacked out, another wanted to 'Lambeau Leap' and the last one was too busy looking at the scoreboard.

“Yeah I was looking the whole time,” said freshman running back Elijah Elliott.

In the middle of first quarter Bobcats quarterback Matt McKay found Elliott over the middle for a 65-yard passing touchdown. It was Elliott’s first as a Bobcat. During his run, he couldn't help but look at himself running down the field with the big scoreboard showing him on the screen.

“Matt threw a good ball," said Elliott. "Just caught it and was thinking, 'don’t get caught, don’t get caught and keep running.'”

To start the second quarter, junior defensive back Ty Okada intercepted a pass and took it over 70 yards for a touchdown, thanks in big part to teammate Jeffrey Manning’s big block.

“I wish on his his first pick I could have thrown a better block for him," Okada said of Manning. "He would probably be in the end zone against Wyoming too. Shoutout to Jeff, Jazzy Jeff 5. I was thinking I wanted to Lambeau Leap, but I know that wouldn’t have gone over to well and I was really excited to celebrate with my teammates as well.”

To make it 35-0 before the half, Troy Andersen who has been in the end zone many times before on offense, had his first interception and first defensive touchdown.

“You kind of hope you catch it, then blackout mostly -- run to the end zone and celebrate with your teammates. It was fun,“ said senior Linebacker Troy Andersen.

“After the game ended I had mentioned that to him, I was like, ‘Man, I don’t really remember the last time we got a pick-six but I know it’s been awhile,’ but all of sudden we come out and get two of them in a game," said Okada. "That was a blast and to share with him was incredible.”

Montana State’s defense only gave up 204 yards on Saturday and 148 of them came in the second half and by then most of the starters had come out. Okada says the success is due to their discipline and preparation.

“It was funny, because I was actually talking to the quarterback I’m like, ‘Hey man, we’re calling out half your plays.’ He goes, ‘Yeah. Kind of sucks out here,'" said Okada. "When you prepare like that, it allows you to communicate and be one step ahead of the offense.

Next up, Montana State begins Big Sky Conference play next Saturday at Portland State.

“The Big Sky is no joke. I’m excited for it. I think everyone else is excited for it. We’re dialed (in),’” Okada said.

Photo gallery from Saturday's game can be found here.