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Montana State Bobcats to emphasize fast starts heading into bye week

Sacramento State at Montana State - Oct. 12, 2019
Posted at 10:42 AM, Oct 14, 2019

BOZEMAN -- This season Montana State has prided itself on being a second-half football team, coming back from deficits like 21 points against Northern Arizona. But after Saturday's 34-21 loss against Sacramento State, where the Cats trailed 21-7 in the second quarter, they say it's time to leave that identity behind.

"I think we worked out a way to win the last couple of weeks and we got behind in this game and got exposed a little bit. And I think that's something that I think we've known that we can't spot teams points and win games and maybe this is the wake-up call we needed. I think there was some things to build on, I thought Tucker (Rovig) operated our two-minute stuff late in the game, that's stuff to build on there, but that may be the only bright spot, to be honest with you," said Montana State head coach Jeff Choate.

The Bobcats had an opportunity to start their Homecoming game with a lead, but Tucker Rovig was intercepted in the red zone. The Cats ultimately dug themselves into a 21-7 hole in the second quarter, and they know in order to be successful in the Big Sky, they can't just come alive in the third quarter of games.

"The entire conference games that we played, we've given teams opportunities that we shouldn't give. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot there, same with Western Illinois, it was kind of a sloppy game. I think we just need to realize that we need to start fast and not have those blunders," said senior defensive end Bryce Sterk.

Montana State will have a lot of time to figure out a fix as it goes to the bye this week.

"We did not play well (Saturday) and that's my responsibility as a head coach and we will improve that. Unfortunately we have to live with it for two weeks now. We have an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and figure out what works for us and execute at a higher level the next opportunity we get to compete," said Choate.

The Bobcats return to action Saturday, Oct. 26 as they travel to face North Dakota in Grand Forks.