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Montana State coach Jeff Choate discusses Bobcat football ahead of Saturday's scrimmage

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Posted at 1:54 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 20:11:59-04

BOZEMAN — It’s not an actual game, but this Saturday at 2 p.m. the Montana State football team will host an intrasquad scrimmage.

“Let’s go enjoy this, let’s go compete, have fun," Choate said about the upcoming scrimmage. "We’ll structure it so everybody gets an opportunity to go out there and show us what they can do. This isn’t the end all be all -- I’m not deciding who we're going to pencil in as the starter in February based on what happens here it October.”

Right now there’s a three-way battle for the quarterback job between junior Tucker Rovig, sophomore Casey Bauman and North Carolina State junior transfer Matthew McKay. The battle that might be won by showing the ability to not turn the ball over.

“Turning the ball over is one of things that we’ve stayed way from and that’s helped us win a lot of games," said Choate. "Somebody that’s going to value the football and make good decisions and throw an accurate ball is going to put themselves in the coaches' eyes ahead of everybody else. I don’t care how flashy it looks, if you’re giving the ball to the other team, I’m not going to be satisfied with that.”

A guy that continues to standout is Butte freshman quarterback Tommy Mellott, who Choate compared to Kellen Moore, a former prolific quarterback Choate coached at Boise State. Moore is now the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.

“(Mellott) will be fun to watch in a game situation," said Choate. "His demeanor reminds me a bit of Kellen Moore, in terms of when he was a redshirt freshman and kind of how he went about his business. You knew he was going to be good because the way he went about his business but he didn’t tell anybody. I think the other thing about Tommy is his athleticism.”

As for when the spring season schedule will be announced, it will likely come very soon.

"I believe next week is when the Presidents Council is going to meet for the Big Sky (Conference)," Choate said. "I want to say on (Oct. 16) they’ve targeted us to get a preliminary schedule, both volleyball, basketball and football. I think it’s leaning towards an eight-game conference schedule. I think our first game would be around the end of February and that would make some interesting practices for here in Bozeman."

However, don’t expect Troy Andersen to be suiting up this spring season after offseason surgery.

“Let me just say this: I do not anticipate Troy participating in competitions in the spring," Choate said. "But when we get our guns loaded for the fall of 2021 and we play a full schedule, I think we got a chance to be a pretty special outfit.”