BOZEMAN – The Montana State Bobcats have a big game to prove themselves this Saturday against Eastern Washington. The Eagles are a team the Cats have struggled with in years past, but even though EWU has the upper hand, it isn’t underestimating its opponent.
“I feel like it’s going to be a hard-fought game. I feel like it’s going to be a dog fight. I think if we just play our game and not get rattled, I think we are going to do well,” said Beau Byus, a senior offensive lineman for the Eagles.
Eastern Washington (3-1, 1-1 Big Sky Conference) comes to Bozeman as the fifth-ranked team in the FCS, but the Eagles know it’s going to be an offensive shootout against Montana State. The past five times these teams met, they have scored a combined 399 points. Eastern has come away the victors in all five of those games, last losing to the Bobcats in 2011.
“This is just another game between two really good programs that have had a lot of fireworks over the years, had a lot of success over the years and continue to build over that success,” said Aaron Best, the head coach at Eastern Washington. “There have been some fun ones, a lot of high-scoring, some high-scoring, low-scoring. Some one-sided, some on the other, and that’s what makes this game fun.”
Eastern Washington has backed up its ranking as the nation’s fifth-best team. The Eagles are coming into Montana State with serious momentum after steamrolling Cal Poly 70-17 last week, but their mindset isn’t to expect to run over teams.
“This is just a start of our goal, and our goal is to win the Big Sky and eventually win a national championship. So I think it’s just in the past. I mean, we learned from it, we took what we need from it,” said EWU linebacker Kurt Calhoun on the win over Cal Poly. “So we are going to move on and try to play our same ball, not try to change a whole lot, just come out with a lot of energy, just the same mindset going forward I think.”
Montana State hosts Eastern Washington Saturday Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. in Bobcat Stadium.