BOZEMAN — Jeff Choate and his staff most often don’t have a crystal ball but they had some ability to predict an inevitable future last spring.The Montana State football coaches had an idea that Chris Murray’s academics likely would not be in order for the 2018 season. The Bobcats gave Tucker Rovig the second half of the spring practices to assert himself as the front-runner to be Montana State’s starting quarterback this fall.
That did not happen, the next in a long line of dominoes for MSU’s tumultuous situation under center. From a fall camp quarterback competition won by converted running back and linebacker Troy Andersen to an injury suffered by Andersen in MSU’s season-opening win to Rovig’s out of nowhere breakout performance last week against Wagner, Montana State has itself a quarterback dilemma entering Big Sky Conference play.
Perhaps Choate and his offensive staff should consult Bruce Barnum as Portland State’s head coach prepares his team to host MSU on Saturday. The Vikings have been facing a similar predicament ever since Alex Kuresa graduated in 2016.
Barnum waffled between athletic and unpredictable true freshman Jalani Eason and savvy, steady senior wide receiver Josh Kraght early in the season. Late, Barnum went with strong-armed gunslinging true freshman Davis Alexander. None of the three were able to lead Portland State to a win during last fall’s 0-11 nightmare.
It’s still unknown who will start between Alexander and Eason in Saturday’s conference opener at Hillsboro Stadium against MSU, although PSU’s film would indicate Alexander will get the majority of snaps even if Eason plays consistently.
Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.