BOZEMAN – Saturday marked the second practice of Montana State’s fall football camp, and all eyes are looking at the quarterback battle.
“All those guys bring a different element to the game, and I think it will be fun to see who steps up and wins that job,” said wide receiver Kevin Kassis.
The starting quarterback job became open when it was announced that starter Chris Murray would miss the entire 2018 season due to academic reasons, and it’s a tight race.
“I think all quarterbacks performed well, they all threw the ball nice. Of course there is going to be some ups and downs throughout camp, but it’s the first day. We will get those mistakes corrected, but overall I thought they looked pretty good,” said tight end Connor Sullivan.
The battle is between redshirt freshman Tucker Rovig, Oregon transfer Travis Jonsen, true freshman Casey Bauman and one surprise candidate, Troy Andersen. The star sophomore running back wearing a red jersey at camp made his presence felt on opening day.
“Quarterback-wise, we will go look at it, but I’d say probably Troy had the best day,” said Montana State head coach Jeff Choate. “But also he rolled with the (first team) more because Tucker was with the threes and fours in the second sets. So it will all come out in a wash, we will get plenty of reps.”
But being a quarterback is nothing new for the Dillon native, who was a two-time all-state quarterback for the Beavers. His senior year he threw for more than 1,400 yards, rushed for nearly 900 yards and scored a combined 30 touchdowns.
“The kid is a freak athlete, so he can play at a lot of positions on the field,” said Sullivan. “I have 100 percent confidence in Troy — freak athlete, he can do it all.”
And he has for the Cats. Andersen was named the 2017 Big Sky Freshman of the Year. He started at both running back and linebacker last season, racking up almost 600 yards and six touchdowns and nine tackles
“I don’t think he’s played (offensive line) yet, maybe he will soon, or D-line. It’s going to take some time to get his feet underneath him. He has a pretty strong arm,” said Kassis. “But the thing with Troy, too, is no matter his arm strength, he’s a smart guy and can figure it out. Once he gets more reps and more experience that will help him out a lot.”