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Montana State Bobcats run game wears down Northern Arizona in comeback win

Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 29, 2019

BOZEMAN -- Montana State dug deep Saturday, overcoming a 21-0 deficit in the second quarter to defeat Northern Arizona 49-31 at home. But their secret to success wasn’t much of a secret at all.

MSU stuck to their DNA all afternoon, ground and pound. In the fourth quarter alone, the Bobcats ran the ball on 22 consecutive plays to wear down the Lumberjack defense, while tallying 340 total yards rushing in the game.

“Our (offensive line), they never give up. I don’t care how many negative plays the defense creates, they will always find a way to push through and by the second half, they are about to pancake and but them on their butts,” said wide receiver Travis Jonsen.

Jonsen rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the win, out of MSU's popular wildcat set. It's the first time in Jonsen's career that he eclipsed 100-yards on the ground.

The run game initially didn't work for Montana State to open the game, they quickly fell behind 21-0 to NAU. But MSU head coach Jeff Choate knew that if he keeping pounding the rock, sooner or later, the Lumberjacks would break.

“Those 1- or 2-yard runs in the first quarter, turned into three or four in the second and pretty soon you are busting off (7- and 8-yard runs)," said Choate. "It’s kind of those body blows. There’s nothing more demoralizing as a defense when a team just lines up and says, 'We’re doing it again.' And so I was really impressed with our guys being able to go operate.”

The seventh-ranked Bobcats will get a break from the snowy weather next week as they hit the road to San Louis Obispo to take on Cal Poly next Saturday at 6 p.m.