BOZEMAN — The 5-`1 Montana State Bobcats head down to Ogden, Utah to face 2-3 Weber State on Friday. MTN Sports sat down with Wildcats beat writer Miles Shaw from the Signpost.
“The identity is really defense and run the ball," said Shaw. "That’s really what they do. That’s really what they’ve done in the past that’s got them four-straight Big Sky titles.”
Weber State is getting many guys back this week after a bye week and most of their starters were able to rest in the second half of their 38-7 blowout victory over Cal Poly on October 2.
“Coach Hill said that in some of these press conferences he’s had where they had so many injuries and just getting that bye week to rest up — against Cal Poly the whole second half they were able to play some other guys just to get some reps I think the bye week was big for them,” Shaw said.
One guy Bobcat fans should know is redshirt freshman running back Dontae McMillan who is creating a one-two punch with junior Josh Davis who has been named first-team all-Big Sky three times. They both can beat you running the ball inside, outside and receiving. McMillan is averaging six yards per carry and has two rushing touchdowns.
“Him and Davis really play similar styles," said the Wildcats beat writer. "It’s not like one’s a power runner, one's a speed runner. They really play similar styles of football.”
After sustaining an injury earlier in the season, freshman starting quarterback Bronson Barron returns to the lineup on Friday. He can push the ball downfield for the Wildcats offense. In the spring season he threw for 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns in five games.
“What’s interesting with the quarterback position, going back to Bronson is they can really start getting back to receivers like Rasheed Shaheed, Ty MacPherson that can really take the top off the defense and get the deep ball going again,” Shaw said.
As for their defense, like Montana State, there’s a bunch of guys who can disrupt the Bobcats game plan.
“(Senior defensive lineman) Jared Schiess is the guy who has three sacks on the year — he’s been getting to the quarterback," said Shaw. "George Tarlas, defensive end, he’s got three sacks on the year. (Defensive lineman) Kalisi Moli, Sione Lapuaho, they’ve been having great years. They were injured in the Cal Poly game. They’ll be back for this one. (Senior linebacker)Conner Mortenson, he’s a first team all-Big Sky guy. Same with Preston Smith at safety. They have a lot of guys who can wreak havoc.”
As for his prediction. Shaw is picking the Cats. The Wildcats that is.
“I’m going to go Weber 30-28.”