BOZEMAN -- After back-to-back losses where Montana State struggled, at times, on both sides of the ball, the 14th-ranked Bobcats rolled to a 42-7 win over Southern Utah at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday.
MSU wasted little time finding its rhythm against the overmatched Thunderbirds, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and three more in the second to build a 42-0 halftime advantage. Lane Sumner ran for two touchdowns, and Tucker Rovig had a hand in three -- he passed for two and caught one on a trick-play pass from Kevin Kassis.
Rovig's passing touchdowns went to Jaden Smith and Derryk Snell, who both scored on well-designed plays where they were wide-open against the SUU defense.
Meanwhile, MSU's defense put together a dominant performance, limiting SUU to just 249 yards and making a number of game-changing plays.
TURNING POINT: This one was over in the first quarter as Montana State overwhelmed Southern Utah out of the gates. The Bobcats scored 21 first-quarter points and out-gained the Thunderbirds 170-30 in that frame, recording three sacks and forcing one turnover.
STAT OF THE GAME: Sacks, tackles-for-loss and turnovers. As good as the Montana State offense played, the defense was even better, registering five sacks, a staggering 14 tackles-for-loss and four turnovers.
GAME BALLS: Amandre Williams, Troy Andersen, Matt Miller. The entire MSU defense was dominant, but Williams and Andersen were especially disruptive. Williams had one sack, three tackles-for-loss and an interception. Andersen had a team-high eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles-for-loss and an interception. Miller, the MSU offensive coordinator, had his best game calling plays. He was both creative and aggressive as the Bobcats rolled to 269 yards of offense in the first half, including 182 through the air.
WHAT’S NEXT: Montana State (5-3 overall, 3-2 Big Sky Conference) starts its final two-game road trip of the regular season. The Bobcats are at Northern Colorado for a noon kickoff on Nov. 9. Southern Utah (2-8, 1-5) has an open week before hosting Northern Arizona on Nov. 16.