BOZEMAN — The Montana State Bobcats hit the practice field Monday for the first time since coming home from Lubbock, Texas, after their 45-10 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Despite the defeat, head coach Jeff Choate believes his team’s decision to open up the 2019 season against a Power 5 school will help out immensely as the season progresses, and the players were all-in when the opportunity presented itself.
“I asked them, 'Do you want to play a Division II team or do you want to go to Texas Tech? Do you want to go to Utah? Do you want to go to Oregon State?' There’s no doubt what they want to do," said Choate. "I think it prepares them for a good run down the stretch. It stretches them, it’s how you learn and grow is by playing better people and really good competition and shows them where they need to go and what they need to improve.”
Now the Bobcats switch their focus to another tough team. Twelfth-ranked Southeast Missouri State comes to Bozeman for the annual Gold Rush game this Saturday, and both teams know exactly how important that game is.
“Let's be frank, this is a big game. This is a big game for both programs, and it’s not the season because there's a lot of football left to be played," Choate added. "But this is a great opportunity for both teams to establish themselves in the upper echelon of this FCS football right now.”
Kickoff for Saturday's Gold Rush Game is at 6 p.m.