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Cal Poly poses unique challenge to Montana State Bobcats

Travis Jonsen
Posted at 7:41 PM, Oct 02, 2019

BOZEMAN -- The Montana State football team's next test comes in the form of Cal Poly this Saturday on the road. While the weather will be much warmer in California than last week in Bozeman, there is something MSU head coach Jeff Choate is more worried about.

The average GPA of incoming freshmen this semester at Cal Poly is 4.09, according to the university. Meanwhile, their admissions rate this year was 28.4 percent. The Mustangs, who sit at 2-2 on the year, may not be the most talented team athletically or on paper and they won't beat opponents with size. They will, however, win with their mind and plan of attack, which includes a variation of complex quarterback options.

"Those guys have answers to everything, they've been doing this forever. It's like the 'Option Bible.' (They say) 'OK, go to page 36, that's what (the defense is) doing.' You flip to page 36 and these guys know the answers to the test already,'" said Choate when asked about how to prepare against the Mustangs' offense.

"That's why a lot of times high academic institutions, the service academies, they may not go out and get these 6-foot-4, 315-pound, athletic offensive linemen. They create their own advantage by out-flanking people and adding numbers to a side with motions and unbalanced sets and making you defend all of this stuff that you just don't normally see," Choate added.

The Bobcats know one thing about the Mustangs: through four games this season they have 217 rushing attempts compared to 43 total passing attempts. Cal Poly averages 257.8 rushing yards per game, so the Bobcats know the game plan for Cal Poly is much like their own: pound the rock. It's just a matter of which player will have the ball in any given formation.

Choate and the Bobcats will have to out-plan an extremely smart Cal Poly team come 6 p.m. (MDT) Saturday in San Luis Obispo.