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As No. 6 seed, Montana State gearing up for 'second season' in FCS playoffs

Ryan Lonergan
Posted at 3:40 PM, Nov 19, 2023

BOZEMAN — On Sunday, the FCS playoff bracket was unveiled. Montana State received the No. 6 seed, which earned the Bobcats a first-round bye and home playoff game on Dec. 2.

They will host the winner of the first-round game between North Dakota State and Drake.

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The 2023 FCS playoff bracket.

The Bobcats finished the regular season with an overall record of 8-3 and were 6-2 in Big Sky Conference play.

"You got this opportunity to play into December now, the second season," Bobcats coach Brent Vigen said in a press conference following the seeding announcement on Sunday morning.

"I wouldn’t say it’s anybody’s ball game, but I’d certainly like to say that we’re one of the teams that has a great shot."

Vigen also spoke on MSU's upcoming bye week, as well as how to approach its possible opponent come the second round.

"We’ll take this week to heal up a bit, but certainly get moving forward on those two teams and see how we feel like that game is going to shake out," he said. "You know, look forward to another opportunity to play here in Bobcat Stadium on December 2nd."

Montana State’s three losses on the season were road games at South Dakota State, Montana and Idaho, who received the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 seeds, respectively.

The Bobcats hope to use that experience of tough road battles to prepare for this postseason but recognize now they need to turn the corner to come out on top in those types of environments.

"No, I think obviously it’s helped us. I know obviously we've got to find a way to win those games," Vigen said. "You know, I think that’s the missing link right there. We did beat one team in Sac State that made the playoffs, but, you know, we have to find a way to play our best football here in December, and that’s the charge of our coaches and our players, and we’re right back to work essentially."

Quarterback Sean Chambers did not see the field as often as usual in the Bobcats' 37-7 loss at rival Montana on Saturday. Chambers’ absence was noticed as MSU’s offense struggled, and Vigen noted that it’s something the team will look into as the postseason begins.

"That's something we've got to look at," Vigen explained. "I think in our two conference losses the reps didn’t add up. I think some of it’s situational. You know, just the way the game flowed, but he’s certainly one of our best guys, and we got to find a way to get him on the field."

If MSU meets NDSU in the semifinals, it would be a rematch of the 2021 FCS national championship and a chance for the Bobcats to get revenge against the Bison at home.

Click the second video wheel above for Bobcats coach Brent Vigen's full press conference following the seeding announcement on Sunday morning.