GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Not much went right for the Montana State offense on Saturday in a 16-12 loss to North Dakota.
But after the game, head coach Jeff Choate was quick to point out some bright spots – including some new faces making big contributions.
Kalispell Glacier product Mark Estes grabbed his first two career receptions on Saturday for 24 yards, and took his only carry 25 yards for a first down.
“He stepped up,” Choate said. “He had a role in the game plan, and on the reverse that’s something that we had for him and he was also the right guy to go to on a couple of those empty package throws. So I was proud of the way he was able to get us some opportunities to get some first downs.”
True freshman running back DeMareus Hosey saw time in place of the injured Logan Jones and spelled the hobbled Isaiah Ifanse, rushing for a career-high 74 yards on 10 carries. Hosey, who wasn’t even listed on the depth chart released earlier this week, saw his first action since Sept. 14 at Western Illinois.
“It was nice seeing him shoot through the gap a few times and seeing him get like 5-6 extra yards after contact,” offensive lineman Lewis Kidd said. “So that’s what we like to see as linemen, it just makes us want to go harder for those guys.”
Choate said Hosey had the best week of practice of all the running backs on the roster, and earned his opportunity.
Despite the struggles on offense, the Bobcat defense played exceptionally well - allowing just 10 points and limiting the big play ability of North Dakota quarterback Nathan Ketteringham.
With one sack in the third quarter, Bryce Sterk moved into the top 10 all-time on the single-season sacks list at MSU with 9.5 on the year. That leads the Big Sky and is second in the entire FCS.