BOZEMAN – The countdown continues as we inch closer and closer to Saturday for the 118th Brawl of the Wild. The Bobcats are hunting for their third consecutive win for the first time in 33-years.
“This game means more than just this game, you know, it means more than just Bobcats versus Grizzlies. It’s the Super Bowl for the state of Montana and everybody cares about this game,” said senior captain and center Alex Neale.
On Saturday the Treasure State will be divided. One half Maroon and Silver, the other half Blue and Gold. And Montana State is headed into enemy territory inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula.
“It’ll be crazy, it’ll be loud. There’s nothing to really describe it, man. It’s going to be energetic. They’re going to want to kill us the moment we set out there with all the fans right on top of you,” said Neale.
Offensively, the Cats need to establish their run game early and eliminate Montana’s biggest defensive factors — Dante Olson, Josh Buss and the linebacker core.
“I think they’re really physical. I really think that they’ve had a lot of experience, so they kind of know what they are doing,” said Neale on Montana’s linebackers. “Again, I can’t say it enough, they play really hard.”
The Griz have scored 103 points in their last two games. They have big play ability. Against Idaho, they had two touchdowns over 50 yards and a 60-yard run by quarterback Dalton Sneed.
“Playing sound defense. We just have to do our jobs and not get out of our gaps. You know, they’re going to make plays, they got good players, they got good skill, a good (offensive) line,” said senior defensive lineman Tucker Yates. “Sneed is a real special player. I mean, he can make plays with his legs, he slings the ball. He’s a gunslinger out there. So containing him is the main thing we have to do.”
A win for the Cats would give them a strong case for a spot in the playoffs. And in order to do that, they need to come out with energy.
“Their coach knows this game. He’s been apart of this game before, so he’s going to have his players fired up and ready to go, so we have to be able to match that,” said Yates when talking about Bobby Hauck.
“I think it’s pretty much the same thing every year. I feel like no matter what your record is any year for this game, it kind of all just goes away. It kind of just depends on how bad you want to win,” Neale said.
The 118th edition of the Brawl of the Wild kicks off at noon on Saturday in Washington-Grizzlies Stadium.