BOZEMAN — With nine of their 15 allotted spring practices in the books, Montana State held its first scrimmage Saturday.
Bobcats head coach Brent Vigen shared that they were able to get in about 90 plays during their 90-minute scrimmage.
One of the first position groups Vigen mentioned was the quarterback room, saying he thought they "threw the ball particularly well," specifically Jordan Reed and Tommy Mellott.
Reed returns to the field this spring after missing the 2022 season with a knee injury that was suffered during fall camp. For Mellot, Vigen shared that this offseason has been about strengthening his pocket awareness.
"I think for Tommy as he goes through spring and he’s not live, that’s obviously an emphasis not to take off and run," Vigen stated. "I think his pocket awareness and ability to hang in there is continuing to improve and we’re doing a lot of things to work on that... I think both of them really delivered the ball on the money, and I’m talking a handful of plays, but some impressive throws by both of them.”
On the other end of some of those throws Saturday morning, Taco Dowler had quite the day, recording 145 yards and one touchdown off of four catches.
Stats from today’s #MSUBobcatsFB scrimmage.— Ashley Washburn (@ashleyjwashburn) April 8, 2023
Vigen said he was impressed with their passing today, but on the other end of that WR Taco Dowler had a day 👀
4 catches, 145 yards, 1 TD pic.twitter.com/cx95EIyl0r
Defensively, the Bobcats are seeing some fresh faces potentially rise on their depth chart.
“We certainly have some really good returners, but on defense, it’s so much about the guys that haven’t seen the film that will continue to fortify our depth that will challenge for starting positions," Vigen explained. "Linebacker-wise, McCade O’Reilly, Neil Daily, Jace Fitzgerald are guys that really stick out. Those are the type of guys that need to show up and have big days today.”
However, the big news this week was the departure of Jimmy Beal who is headed to the FBS and will continue to coach running backs at San Diego State.
“Jimmy is a great human being, does a great job on the recruiting side, is great with the players, and I think that’s why a program like San Diego State would not only take a look at him but ultimately hire him.”#MSUBobcatsFB’s Brent Vigen on the departure of Jimmy Beal: pic.twitter.com/fWtTCHdAl7— Ashley Washburn (@ashleyjwashburn) April 8, 2023
Vigen shared the program expects to make a formal announcement about his replacement coming up very soon.
In the meantime, Montana State only has six more practices left on their schedule, with the last one culminating on Saturday, April 22 with the annual Sonny Holland Classic.