BOZEMAN — The Montana State Bobcats are entering Week 9 of their football season facing an offense they haven’t seen yet: the triple-option of Cal Poly.
“Cal Poly is really on a roll. Offensively, you look at that (Northern Arizona) game, they had five consecutive plays where they went down and scored,” said MSU head coach Jeff Choate.
“Obviously they don’t throw a lot, but when they do it’s very efficient and calculated when they do that,” Choate continued. “They get a lot of explosive plays out of their pass game and open the set more than what we saw against Kennesaw State.”
The Mustangs rush for an average of 326 yards per game and lead the Big Sky Conference with their ground game.
“Understand that they’re going to get their yards, that’s what they do,” Choate said. “They’re going to get their yards and try to bleed you out.”
Saturday’s contest provides an opportunity for the Bobcats’ defense to prove its worth, especially in the backfield, led by safety Greg Filer.
“He’s a very good man-to-man guy and he’s turning into a better zone player,” Choate said of the junior. “He’s a skinny guy, but he’s a willing tackler, good length, good speed.”
But making stops means nothing without complementary offensive output, especially in the red zone.
“There’s just less space that the defense has to cover, so the yards come a lot harder,” quarterback Troy Andersen said. “You just have to find holes and take what they give you and don’t try to force anything.”
Outside of the red zone, Montana State has still struggled to get the ball moving.
“When we have the ball we have to do things with it, their (Cal Poly) offense is built to take possessions away from us, and so when we have the ball we have to maximize those and put points on the board,” Andersen finished.
“I think we need to come out and do our same stuff that we always do,” center Alex Neale followed. “I don’t really think you need to change what you do each week. I think you have to stick with your same stuff, execute your game plan and come out as hard.”
Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday in Bobcat Stadium.