BOZEMAN -- This Saturday Montana State welcomes in Norfolk State to Bobcat Stadium. The Spartans sit at 1-2 on the year, but if one thing stands out about this unit to MSU head coach Jeff Choate, it’s that they’ve played a lot of college football.
“This is a team that returns 18 starters from a year ago. So this is a team that has been built with a lot of redshirt seniors when you look at the roster. It’s been built over time to, I think, have a chance to make a run at the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) this year and be a team to contend with there,” said Choate.
Offensively, the Cats need to be patient and take advantage of the rare slip-ups by the Spartans because Norfolk State plays reserved when defending.
“Post-safety defense the whole time, they’re based out of a four-down front, they rarely, if ever, blitz. Less than five percent of the time are they going to bring pressure," Choate said. "They are very sound, they keep things in front of you and make you earn it. A lot of teams end up kicking field goals in the red zone instead of getting touchdowns.”
And defensively the Cats need to have eyes on one player, in particular, Spartans quarterback Juwan Carter. He is the team's leading passer and rusher with eight total touchdowns on the year and he reminds Choate of a familiar face.
“I told our guys ... that he’s kind of a shorter Chris Murray. He creates outside the offense. He’s a problem. We haven’t played a guy like that this year,” Choate said.
MSU and Norfolk State kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.