THE LEGEND GROWS: Remembering Montana State’s 1976 National Championship

Read More Legendary Montana State head coach Sonny Holland and the Bobcats  in 1976 after winning the D-II National Championship against the University of Akron/courtesy of Montana State Athletics
Legendary Montana State head coach Sonny Holland and the Bobcats in 1976 after winning the D-II National Championship against the University of Akron/courtesy of Montana State Athletics

The door opened and the intimidating presence emerged from an aircraft that had spent the last few hours five miles high, both literally and figuratively. Sonny Holland wore a leather jacket and a cowboy hat, the personification of Butte tough. The stout Bobcat legend held in his hands the NCAA Championship trophy, the second the greatest Bobcat of them all helped Montana State bring back to Bozeman.

As Holland stood atop the airplane stairs and looked out onto the runway, the throngs of locals waiting to welcome the Bobcats home burst into an ovation.

“I can still see it right now, 40 years later, that exact moment,” Bert Markovich said earlier this week. “That’s the defining memory of that moment, one of the pinnacle moments in all our lives.”

Forty years ago, Holland reached the pinnacle as a coach, replicating a feat he achieved 20 years earlier as a player. With each anniversary, each decade that passes, Bobcats’ run to the 1976 national championship becomes more entrenched in the lore of the Gallatin Valley. As Holland walked off the plane holding the national championship trophy, Mr. Bobcat stood on top of the world.

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Montana State press conference – Sac State week: head coach Jeff Choate

This video features Montana State head football coach Jeff Choate addressing the media the week of Sacramento State. The Bobcats come off a 17-15 loss to North Dakota last Saturday, and travel to Sacramento State this upcoming weekend. The ‘Cats are 2-2 over and 0-1 in Big Sky Conference play.

This video was filmed by Colter Nuanez and produced by Brooks Nuanez – Skyline Sports on September 19, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Choate: ‘We missed a defining moment’ in loss to UND

Read More Montana State running back Chad Newell (17) fights for yards against North Dakota safety Zach Arnell (20) Saturday/by Brooks Nuanez
Montana State running back Chad Newell (17) fights for yards against North Dakota safety Zach Arnell (20) Saturday/by Brooks Nuanez

Jeff Choate told his offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham before his first Homecoming game as the head coach of the Bobcats if Chad Newell rushed for 100 yards, Montana State would defeat North Dakota.

Choate told defensive coordinator Ty Gregorak if his defense could corral UND star running back John Santiago, the Bobcats would have the upper hand against the Fighting Hawks.

From setting the tone on the opening defensive series by stripping Santiago to Newell ripping off a 16-yard carry on his first touch after missing two games with an injured hand to Montana State dictating the action for most of Saturday’s Big Sky Conference opener, the afternoon played out almost exactly how Choate expected. Montana State’s first-year head coach did not expect, however, that his Bobcats would commit five turnovers and force just one in coming up just short.

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ROCKIN’ R BAR PRESENTS: Big Sky Breakdown – Jeff Choate, pre-Sacramento State

In this episode, Montana State head coach Jeff Choate recaps Montana State’s 17-15 loss to North Dakota and looks ahead to MSU’s first Big Sky Conference road trip of the season as the Bobcats head to Sacramento State on Saturday.

UM’s Louie-McGee earns national honor after record-breaking game

Read More Montana redshirt freshman Jerry Louie-McGee, pictured here against Saint Francis, is the FCS Freshman of the Week after his record-setting performance against Cal Poly/ courtesy of UM athletics
Montana redshirt freshman Jerry Louie-McGee, pictured here against Saint Francis, is the FCS Freshman of the Week after his record-setting performance against Cal Poly/ courtesy of UM athletics

By ERIC TABER

Montana Sports Information

“Mr. Electricity”, “Jerry Touchdown”, “J-Loo”, or even “Jerry Jukes-McGee”; Montana receiver Jerry Louie-McGee has earned some good unofficial titles during his breakout season.

Now, he can add an official title to that list: STATS FCS National Freshman Player of the Week.

Louie-McGee’s award comes following a huge individual performance at Cal Poly, where the Montana Grizzlies’ redshirt freshman “Z” slot receiver smashed a 19-year-old Montana school record for receptions in a game and tied the Big Sky record with 21 grabs against the Mustangs.

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Big Sky Breakdown: North Dakota 17, Montana State 15 – post-game comments

In this episode, hear from North Dakota junior safety Cole Reyes, UND sophomore running back Brady Oliveira, UND head coach Bubba Schweigert along with Montana State senior linebacker Fletcher Collins, MSU redshirt freshman linebacker Josh Hill and Bobcat head coach Jeff Choate following UND’s 17-15 win over Montana State in Bozeman.

Conference races heat up for FCS Top 25; three Big Sky teams in this week’s poll

Read More Southern Utah senior running back Malik Brown ripped off an 87-yard touchdown during SUU's 45-31 win to knock Portland State out of the FCS Top 25 this week/ photo by SUU athletics
Southern Utah senior running back Malik Brown ripped off an 87-yard touchdown during SUU's 45-31 win to knock Portland State out of the FCS Top 25 this week/ photo by SUU athletics

(STATS) – Conference play is beginning to take over the college football schedule and the FCS has a diverse group leading the way into the most heated part of the season.

The first six teams in Monday’s STATS FCS Top 25 were from different conferences, there were seven conferences among the top 10 teams and nine different conferences plus an independent team were represented in the rankings, with a team from three others among the first five just outside the national media poll.

Yes, let the conference craziness begin.

“You have great examples from Stony Brook over Richmond two weeks ago to Elon over William & Mary this past week,” James Madison first-year coach Mike Houston said, reflecting on CAA Football results, “that they understand that they’ve got to bring their best each and every week” in conference games.

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Oliveira, Collet, Hintze earn Big Sky weekly awards

Read More Southern Utah safety Tyler Collet is this week's Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week/ courtesy of SUU athletics
Southern Utah safety Tyler Collet is this week's Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week/ courtesy of SUU athletics

OGDEN, Utah (September 26, 2016) – Big Sky Conference play this past weekend brought several big plays from several big players.

The conference had several teams open their conference slate with marquee victories, including three teams that couldn’t have won without the contributions of three significant players.

For their efforts in leading their teams to victory, North Dakota fullback Brady Oliviera is the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week; Southern Utah safety Tyler Collet is the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week; and Weber State kicker Taylor Hintze is the Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week.

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SUNDAY NOTEBOOK: Reyes says UND intended to confuse Bruggman all along

Read More Montana State running back Chad Newell (17) looks for space against North Dakota Saturday/by Brooks Nuanez
Montana State running back Chad Newell (17) looks for space against North Dakota Saturday/by Brooks Nuanez

If Tyler Bruggman looked confused by North Dakota’s defense on Saturday, that was UND’s intention from the beginning.

Bruggman’s third passing attempt of the day was a strike to Deion Harris. The laser bounced right off the UND junior cornerback’s hands and fell to the turf in the visitor end-zone. Bruggman’s fourth attempt was directly into Torrey Hunt’s coverage. The true freshman broke up his first of two passes Saturday in Bozeman and Bruggman’s Montana State Bobcats settled for a field goal despite reaching the UND 9-yard line on their first possession.

On MSU’s third possession, Bruggman looked for sophomore John D’Agostino on a quick out but instead threw the ball directly to UND senior outside linebacker Brian Labat. The interception sparked UND’s defense to a five-takeaway day. Continue reading “SUNDAY NOTEBOOK: Reyes says UND intended to confuse Bruggman all along”

Oliveira, ball-hawking defense leads UND past Montana State

Read More North Dakota running back Brady Oliveira (5) ran for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Fighting Hawks to a 17-15 victory over Montana State/by Brooks Nuanez
North Dakota running back Brady Oliveira (5) ran for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Fighting Hawks to a 17-15 victory over Montana State/by Brooks Nuanez

BOZEMAN — Brady Oliveira seems to save his best for the Montana State Bobcats. On Saturday in Bozeman, the North Dakota sophomore tailback quite literally played his best, saving the longest run of his young career for crunch time at Bobcat Stadium.

With North Dakota clinging to a 10-9 lead with under three minutes to play, the sophomore from Winnipeg took an inside handoff, cutback toward Montana State’s sideline, broke a diving tackle by recently shaken safety Bryson McCabe three yards past the line of scrimmage, cut inside diving cornerback Bryson Alley, who collided with safety Khari Garcia as Oliveira sprinted 60 yards for a touchdown.

The score staked UND to a 17-9 lead with two minutes, 27 seconds left in a slugfest that would finish in a wild fashion following Oliveira’s go-ahead score. It also pushed the 5-foot-10, 225-pound workhorse to 166 of his career-high 171 yards and gave him the second touchdown of the afternoon in a tug of war otherwise dominated by defense.

Montana State scored a touchdown, missed a two-point conversion that would’ve tied it and recovered an onside kick for one final chance during a wild finish. In the end, Oliveira’s career day coupled with a pile of Bobcat miscues helped lift North Dakota to a hard-fought 17-15 in front of 19,507 on Montana State’s homecoming Saturday afternoon.

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