BOZEMAN — The Montana State Bobcats found out that they locked up the No. 8 seed and a bye in the 2021 FCS football playoff on Sunday. MTN Sports will takes a look at their possible opponents Missouri State and UT-Martin. In this article, we’re taking a look at the Missouri State Bears.
Hired in 2020, the Bears are led by head coach Bobby Petrino. Yes, that Bobby Petrino who coached Arkansas and Louisville. Petrino attended Helena Capital and played college ball at Carroll College. He led the Bears to their first playoff appearance last spring and now has them back again this fall after finishing second behind North Dakota State in the Missouri Valley Conference with an 8-3 record.
Utah State transfer redshirt junior Jason Shelley leads Petrino’s offense. He’s 11th in the FCS in passing yards (3,017). He has 19 touchdown passes and just six interceptions.
His favorite target is Tyrone Scott. The 6'3" 200 lbs redshirt sophomore is sixth in the FCS for receiving yards (1,039) on 60 receptions with 8 touchdowns.
On the ground, they have a burner in junior running back Kevon Latulas. He has only carried the ball 86 times, but he’s averaging a whopping 7.2 yards per carry totaling 617 rushing yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears have forced opponents to turn the ball over. They’re No.6 in the nation in creating turnovers, with 10 fumbles recovered and 14 interceptions.
Junior linebacker Tylar Wiltz leads the Missouri State defense. On the year, he leads the team with 90 total tackles. He also has 3 forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Teams have been able to get yards on their defense. They rank No. 60 giving up 370 yards per game. They’re 88th in passing defense, allowing 241 yards per game.
We’ll find out this Saturday at 4 p.m. if they will advance to play Montana State in two weeks. The game will be aired on ESPN+.