BOZEMAN — On Tuesday afternoon, Montana State head coach Brent Vigen introduced new offensive coordinator Taylor Housewright and defensive coordinator Freddie Banks.
“That familiarity I guess just with both them as people, but also the schemes they intend to run, is a huge part of why they are the positions they are," Vigen said.
When Housewright talked about the offense he kept coming back to the quality of the Bobcats' offensive line.
“Regardless of what we do offensively, you have to win the line of scrimmage and I think that’s true at any level of football," said Housewright, the new offensive coordinator who coached under Vigen at Wyoming in 2018. "We’ve got good players and I think our O-line has a chance to be really, really good this year.”
The coaching staff isn’t going to pigeonhole itself into one certain style of offense. The coaches plan to build around the players they have, but ideally they’d like to run the ball, spread it out and take deep shots.
“You just want to get the best players you can get and have the system in place and tailor it to those guys," said Housewright. "I don’t think we want to hamstring ourselves in recruiting, it’s already hard enough. Get the players you can get and have a system that can fit to them."
For Banks, he wants the defense to play fast.
“What we do is going to be simple, so our guys can play really, really fast and they know exactly what they’re going to do so now we can focus on what the offense is trying to do and how they’re trying to attack us,” he said. "Stop the run, make them one dimensional, make sure they can’t run the ball when they want to. Eliminate explosive plays, take away their best player the best way you can. Then be good on third down, we get them on third down and get them off the field.”
Banks knows the foundation was set by former defensive coordinator Kane Ioane, but now he needs to build on it to take the defense to the next level.
“A lot of things that they’ve already built here that we’re going to tweak things a little bit, but a lot of things are in place to keep that type of culture, that type of playing hard, playing fast and playing together defense,” said Banks, who played at North Dakota State from 2007-10 while Vigen was there.
Both coaches know what the Cat-Griz rivalry means to MSU fans and are ready to take part in the battle between the two teams.
“I grew up in Ohio, so we always had the Ohio State-Michigan -- it’s right up there with it," Housewright said. "I think it’s pretty neat for this state to be that close together and have that big of rivalry, and we’re very very excited to compete in it and hopefully when we play them we fill the stadium with Bobcat fans.”
"You want to beat them in everything," said Banks. "You want to beat them in recruiting, you want to beat them in how you work every day, you want to beat them in the office, and we’re game-planning, we want to beat them in everything that we do and I think that carries over to that one Saturday out of the year."