OGDEN, Utah — A top-10 FCS showdown between Montana State and Weber State turned into a showcase for the Bobcats’ defense.
No. 3-ranked MSU limited No. 10 Weber State to just 208 yards and only 13 first downs in a 40-0 road blowout at Stewart Stadium on Saturday. With the win, the Bobcats improved their overall record to 3-1 and to 1-0 in the Big Sky Conference.
Weber State running back Damon Bankston came into the game as the Big Sky’s leading rusher but was kept under wraps to the tune of 36 yards. The Cats held Wildcats’ quarterback Kylan Weisser to 48% passing and 101 yards and sacked him four times.
Showcasing a new offensive look that featured quarterback Sean Chambers taking a high volume of snaps from under center out of an offset I formation, the Bobcats were again efficient moving the football, especially on the ground.
Chambers, with fellow QB Tommy Mellott out again with an injury, was key for MSU again. Chambers accounted for four total touchdowns, two on the ground and two through air to tight end Treyton Pickering.
Turning point: The Bobcats were ahead 13-0 in the second quarter but truly took command when linebacker McCade O’Reilly forced a fumble from Weber State running back Kris Jackson that was recovered by MSU cornerback Jon Johnson at the Weber State 46.
That led to a 29-yard touchdown run by Chambers — his second TD of the first half — and a 20-0 Montana State advantage.
Stat of the game: With the Bobcats, the formula to winning is simple: Run the football. The Bobcats again were dominant on the ground, rolling up 346 yards and averaging 7.7 yards per carry. MSU had four rushing TDs, with Jared White and Elijah Elliott also getting in on the act.
Bobcat game balls: RB Julius Davis (Offense). For a team that has as much running back depth as anyone in the FCS, Davis was the breakout back. The transfer from Wisconsin carried 14 times for 132 yards, an average of 9.4 per rush.
LB McCade O’Reilly (Defense). Plenty of options here, but the junior O’Reilly had perhaps the best game of his career with a team high 11 tackles and a forced fumble. O’Reilly also made a big hit to stop a fake punt attempt by Weber State that immediately led to Pickering’s second TD catch and a 26-0 lead.
What’s next: Montana State returns home to take on Portland State next Saturday at Bobcats Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The Bobcats have owned their series with the Vikings, having won nine of the past 11 meetings including three in a row. Portland State (2-2, 1-0 Big Sky) comes in having won two straight, including a 59-21 romp over Cal Poly this week.