BOZEMAN — The Bobcats are rolling in hot to Saturday’s homecoming game against Cal Poly, riding on a four-game win streak and perfect 2-0 record in Big Sky play.
Just like the Bobcats, the Mustangs are also under a new head coach in Beau Baldwin, who has dealt with his fair share of growing pains this fall.
“They’ve played a pretty good schedule to this point, and much like Northern Colorado, it’s a situation where Coach Baldwin took over at the beginning of 2020, so they’re still finding themselves," Bobcats head coach Brent Vigen said. "Their record I don’t think indicates where they are.”
Through five games, the Mustangs are 1-4 this fall with their only win coming against San Diego to kick off their season.
Offensively, Baldwin is still in the midst of defining his program, which is why the Mustangs have been utilizing a carousel of quarterbacks.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever - this is my 11th - I’ve never seen that before where they have five quarterbacks play in a game," Bobcats defensive coordinator Freddie Banks said. "Probably two of them are completely different than the other ones, so we’ll have to be ready.”
However, the Bobcats do have one less quarterback they’ll have to game plan for after Cal transfer and passing leader Spencer Brasch suffered a hand injury.
“We probably won’t know until game day who is going to be the starter, so that will be a challenge for us for sure," Banks said.
Despite Cal Poly’s lackluster performance on offense that places them last in the Big Sky, Montana State says they’ve been preparing for the Mustangs to throw a lot of run-pass options at them.
“I would expect them to try to be balanced, to try to develop a run game, not to be so one-sided, and we have to do what we can to try to make them as one-dimensional as possible," Vigen explained.
Luckily for the Bobcats, cornerback Tyrel Thomas is expected to make his return this Saturday after missing the first half of the season with a knee injury.
“He’s been getting back in his grove," Banks stated. "We wanted to make sure that we were cautious that he was all the way ready to go. You’ll probably see him this week for sure. He’ll add a different man element and competitive nature to our DB unit.”
Kick-off against Cal Poly is set for 2 p.m. The game will be streamed on Root Sports and ESPN+.