BOZEMAN — After winning five straight games, Montana State prepares for their toughest opponent since Wyoming. They face a 2-3 Weber State team that is coming off a bye week with extra time to prepare.
“The extra week for them certainly is an advantage," said MSU head coach Brent Vigen. "I think you got a couple extra days to prepare that always plays in your favor.”
Led by head coach Jay Hill, Weber State won the Big Sky Conference in 2017 through 2019.
“It’s a program that certainly is the mark in our league — I would say that," Vigen said. " We got to go in well prepared and our guys have to be ready to go on Friday.”
On offense, the Wildcats have dealt with injuries at the quarterback position. However, they still have a very good running back in junior Josh Davis, who is seventh in total yards among active FCS players. Redshirt freshman running back Dontae McMillan is also having a great year, averaging six yards per carry.
“They challenge you offensively," said the Bobcat head coach. "They run the gamut as far as their run schemes. They execute well. They are physical. They’ve had to play more quarterbacks than I’m sure they wanted to this year, but they’ve all kind of found their way with each one of them being able to highlight their strengths.”
Vigen highlights that the Weber State defense is similar to the Bobcats, with a front seven that can get after it.
“Defensively, they get after you," said Vigen. "They’re able to play a lot of man coverage, with that you now upfront they can wreak havoc and they have really good players on both sides of the football.”
Montana State isn’t afraid of kicking to him, but they do have a plan to stop the Wildcats' senior kick and punt returner Rashid Shaheed. He took a kickoff for a touchdown against Utah earlier this year.
“We’ll have a plan and plan to contain him and go tackle him and that’s not an easy task by any means,” said Vigen.
Vigen played a few Friday night games while coaching at Wyoming but the coaching staff laid out a plan that players and coaches alike have bought into since starting the week on Sunday, a day earlier than normal.
“The benefit of us to get an opportunity to play on ESPNU far outweighs the adjustment we have to make playing Friday at eight o’clock,” he said.
The game can be found on ESPNU beginning at 8 p.m.