BOZEMAN, Montana — For most of the first four seasons under Jeff Choate, the Montana State football team has played with a distinct chip on its collective shoulder.
Choate has used slogans and sayings like “drag our opponents into deep water and let them drown” and “don’t ever back a Bobcat into a corner.” Last season, MSU experienced a breakthrough, making the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and winning a playoff game for the first time since 2012.
That Bobcat team won eight games before running into the juggernaut that is North Dakota State in the second round of last season’s FCS playoffs. This season, Montana State finds itself in a new realm with the playoffs descending upon the Gallatin Valley for the second straight season.
A 48-14 walloping of rival Montana in Bozeman two weeks ago stamped a 9-3 regular-season for the Bobcats. Montana State earned the No. 5 seed in the playoff bracket and the first-round bye that comes along with it. MSU is the decided favorite entering Saturday’s game against No. 25 Albany — Vegas odds makers have the ‘Cats at nine-point favorites — yet the Bobcats are trying to embrace the same mentality that has helped them win 10 of their last 12 games in November over the last three seasons and 12 of 15 November games under Choate overall.
Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.