HILLSBORO, Ore. – Montana State head coach Jeff Choate told the media earlier this week he wanted one go-to guy at quarterback. It looks like he’s found one.
Dillon native Troy Andersen rushed 22 times for 211 yards and two touchdowns Saturday leading the Bobcats to a 43-23 Big Sky Conference road win at Portland State. Andersen was also 7-of-14 passing for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Fans can take their pick of highlight-reel plays Andersen delivered, but his 66-yard keeper down the left sideline for a touchdown may have topped all others.
“We ran that play a couple times before,” Andersen said after the game. “It bounced a couple times before. I was able to just get outside and be able to out-run them on that one.”
No doubt it was a foot race. When asked if he flashed back to his track and field days, Andersen nodded and smiled.
“Yeah, I was just hoping I didn’t get caught. I don’t know, don’t look behind me,” Andersen said.
“Even if guys are keying on him running it, he’s able to break some tackles and whatnot,” said Kevin Kassis, who was on the receiving end of a 53-yard touchdown pass from Andersen. “He makes his own blocks sometimes. Not shaming the O-line, but once he gets in the open field he can run some guys over. That’s what’s pretty special about him.”
Choate still loves the diversity two quarterbacks bring to MSU’s table. Tucker Rovig subbed in for a few plays, at one point hitting Andersen in stride down the right sideline for a 31-yard gain.
“Well, I think it creates a lot of continuity for us, and clearly he’s a guy that we have a lot of confidence in and his teammates have a lot of confidence in,” Choate said of Andersen. “I think it puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses when you’ve got (Andersen) in multiple positions, and Tucker gives us the freedom to do that.”
Portland State drops to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference with the loss. Vikings quarterback Davis Alexander accounted for their two rushing touchdowns. The Bobcat defense only allowed three additional field goals.
Montana State (3-1, 1-0) returns home Saturday to host No. 6 Eastern Washington.