BOZEMAN —Troy Andersen ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns as Montana State outlasted the University of Idaho 24-23 on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.
Andersen scored a 35-yard touchdown in the opening quarter, then added a 60-yard score that gave the Bobcats their first lead, 21-17, with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
Idaho took the lead on a 4-yard rush by Isaiah Saunders, just four minutes into the game. The Vandals benefited from a pair of Montana State penalties on the drive, two defensive delays of game. But Andersen’s scramble on 3rd-and-4 two drives later, the 35-yard run to his right, which included a hurdle over an Idaho defender, tied the game with 5:18 left in the first.
Trailing 17-14 in the third quarter and riding momentum from a failed fourth-down conversion from Idaho, Andersen took the first play of the ensuing MSU drive 60 yards, sprinting past several Vandal defenders for the score.
After Tristan Bailey tacked on a 42-yard field goal for a 24-17 lead, Idaho drove 51 yards in the final seven minutes, scoring on a trick play — a double-reverse that was intended to be a pass to quarterback Mason Petrino, but David Ungerer broke free for a 9-yard touchdown to bring Idaho within one.
Kicker Cade Coffey missed the extra-point attempt and MSU ran out the final three minutes for the win.
TURNING POINT: Andersen’s 60-yard touchdown run. Montana State had trailed the entire game, less the 7-7 tie early in the first quarter, before MSU’s do-it-all Andersen found running room to his left and quickly got behind the Idaho defense for the score.
STAT OF THE GAME: Montana State’s defense tallied 70 total tackles, 54 solo, compared to Idaho’s 37. Grant Collins had 10 total tackles to lead both teams, and Montana State had six tackles-for-loss, many in key points of the game, to help secure the victory.
GAME BALLS: Andersen, Lance McCutcheon, Collins and Tyrone Fa’anono. Andersen’s rushing total speaks for itself, but the quarterback hit McCutcheon for five receptions and 63 yards, including a 37-yard completion that set up Montana State inside the Idaho 5-yard line. Isaiah Ifanse scored on the next play to bring MSU within 17-14 in the third quarter. Collins led the game in tackling, but Fa’anono was a force on the defensive line, finishing with four tackles, one for loss, and a deflected pass at the line of scrimmage.
WHAT’S NEXT: Montana State (4-2, 2-1) travels to Weber State to meet the Wildcats in a 4 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 20.