Montana State

Bobcats motivated by memories of NDSU beat down

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BOZEMAN, Montana — The Bobcats have gravitated toward rallying cries ever since Jeff Choate took over as Montana State’s head football coach in December of 2015.

“Beat the Sky, Own the State” earned an exclamation point when a previously struggling Bobcat team posted a 24-17 upset win in Missoula over rival Montana, the first of three straight victories in the fiercest rivalry in the West for MSU.

Choate has consistently, articulately and prevalently preached his plan, a vision of “Riding for the Brand”, using principles he learned under Chris Petersen at Boise State and Washington mixed with some heavy Montana flavor. That vision included Choate’s proclamation that the rebuilding process would begin with losing big, progress to losing close, elevate to winning close and emerge as a FCS power by winning big.

The “Win Big” season is underway at Montana State. And a main motivating factor may come from the rallying cry that provided fuel for the Bobcats’ collective fire in the off-season.

Montana State’s social media accounts consistently used the hashtag “#NeverAgain”, referencing the season-ending beat down MSU suffered at the hands of eventual national champion North Dakota State. The top-ranked Bison steamrolled the Bobcats, rushing for more than 400 yards in a 52-10 victory that was lopsided just minutes after MSU failed to convert an 84-yard Kevin Kassis catch-and-run on the first play from scrimmage into a touchdown.

BOZEMAN, Montana — The Bobcats have gravitated toward
rallying cries ever since Jeff Choate took over as Montana State’s head
football coach in December of 2015.

“Beat the Sky, Own the State” earned an exclamation point when a previously struggling Bobcat team posted a 24-17 upset win in Missoula over rival Montana, the first of three straight victories in the fiercest rivalry in the West for MSU.

Choate has consistently, articulately and prevalently
preached his plan, a vision of “Riding for the Brand”, using principles he
learned under Chris Petersen at Boise State and Washington mixed with some
heavy Montana flavor. That vision included Choate’s proclamation that the
rebuilding process would begin with losing big, progress to losing close,
elevate to winning close and emerge as a FCS power by winning big.

The “Win Big” season is underway at Montana State. And a main motivating factor may come from the rallying cry that provided fuel for the Bobcats’ collective fire in the off-season.

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Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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