BOZEMAN — Montana State's two-quarterback system returned with Tommy Mellott back in action Saturday, and the No. 2-ranked Bobcats rolled to a 59-19 Big Sky Conference win over Cal Poly at Bobcat Stadium.
Mellott got the start at QB, but it was Sean Chambers who sparked the Bobcats' offense in the early going. After Ty McCullouch electrified the crowd with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown, Chambers scored two first-quarter touchdowns to help the Bobcats jump out to a 21-6 lead over the overmatched Mustangs.
Mellott got in on the action in the second quarter, throwing two TD passes: a 12-yarder to tight end Derryk Snell and a 17-yarder to running back Jared White. The Bobcats led 38-13 at halftime.
After Cal Poly trimmed the lead to 38-19 in the third quarter, Chambers scored another rushing touchdown — his third of the game — and Elijah Elliott and Adam Jones, on his first career carry, added two more MSU TDs.
Mellott completed 7 of 9 passes for 92 yards and the two touchdowns. White finished with a team-high 93 rushing yards on 14 carries. His touchdown catch was his only reception of the game.
The Bobcats (5-1 overall, 3-0 Big Sky) have now won six consecutive games against Cal Poly (2-5, 0-4) and 24 consecutive games at Bobcat Stadium.
Turning point: Coming off their bye week, the Bobcats made a few uncharacteristic mistakes in the early going against Cal Poly. They started to find their offensive footing midway through the first quarter, and never looked back after Chambers' first touchdown, scoring 24 unanswered points to build a 31-6 lead in the second quarter.
Stat of the game: Montana State entered the game averaging an FCS-best 322.4 rushing yards per game, and the rushing attack again led the way Saturday. The Bobcats finished with 335 yards, averaging 9.6 yards per carry.
Bobcat game balls: QB Sean Chambers (Offense). Chambers continues to look like MSU's MVP, racking up 91 rushing yards and three touchdowns on only four carries. He was also 7-of-15 passing for 151 yards.
LB Nolan Askelson (Defense). Askelson was one of seven Bobcats with at least four tackles, and he had a team-high 1.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup.
WR Ty McCullouch (Special teams). McCullouch wasn't perfect returning punts Saturday, mishandling or misjudging a couple balls, but his return touchdown gave Montana State a spark in the first quarter. He was also a factor in the passing game, catching four passes for 119 yards.
What's next: Montana State heads into the murderer's row part of its schedule. The Bobcats close out the regular season playing five Big Sky Conference teams ranked or receiving votes in the latest STATS Perform FCS Top 25 Poll, starting next week at No. 4 Sacramento State. The Bobcats and Hornets kick off at 8:30 p.m. (MT) on Oct. 21. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.