BOZEMAN – The Montana State Bobcats are settling in to the reality that they are playing the best team in the FCS, North Dakota State, on Saturday. And this game is drawing a lot of similarities to one that happened the last time these two teams met.
The Bobcats and Bison last squared off on a snowy day eight years ago, Dec. 4, 2010, and coincidentally it was during the second round of the FCS Playoffs, as the Bobcats earned a bye as the No. 4 seed after winning the Big Sky Conference title. But North Dakota State came into Bobcat Stadium and took down MSU 43-17.
This weekend, the underdog Bobcats travel to Fargo to face the top-ranked and unbeaten Bison.
“I’m pretty sure they don’t respect us,” Montana State junior safety Jahque Alleyne said of NDSU. “They probably think like us and they see that we are an 8-4 team, but we’ve been through a lot and we’ve come this far. But you know, it’s NDSU, they’ve won six of the last seven national championships. But for ourselves, it’s about us, so we are going to come out there and play physical and hopefully we come out with a win.”
Many are already counting the Bobcats out, but inside the locker room, Montana State is blocking out the noise.
“That’s just one of those things where people can say what they want, but if we believe what we can do on the field on Saturday within this team, that’s kind of really all that matters,” said senior wide receiver and team captain Kevin Kassis. “I know there are people that may feel as though we may not be able to compete with them, but us coaches and players think we have a good understanding of who we are and we feel as though we can.”