Montana State

Following historic 2019 run, Bobcats enter fall with plenty of questions

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BOZEMAN, Montana — Montana State mounted its most successful run since Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States the last time the Bobcats took the field in the fall of 2019.

Yet MSU, a squad led by quartet of senior All-American candidates who have led the revitalization of toughness across the program, enters the 2021 season with as many questions as any in the Big Sky Conference.

Montana State finished as one of the final four teams in the country, winning seven games in a row to advance to the semifinals of the 2019 FCS playoffs, marking MSU’s first run to the semis since its most recent national championship in 1984.

Fearsome stalwarts like linebacker Troy Andersen, offensive linemen Lewis Kidd and Taylor Tuiasosopo along with defensive tackle Chase Benson and defensive end Amandre Williams lead the charge for a team that was voted No. 7 in the nation in the preseason FCS poll presented by STATS Perform yet was picked fourth by both the Big Sky Conference’s coaches and affiliated media in the league’s preseason polls.

Headliners like junior running back Isaiah Ifanse, junior offensive lineman Zach Redd and senior cornerback Tyrel Thomas will also have a say if MSU is to chase its third straight playoff berth and its first Big Sky title since 2012.

The most central questions for a Bobcat team harboring lofty internal expectations center upon shaking off the rust after not playing any games in almost 23 months; the transition to a new coaching staff; and the efficiency at which these Bobcats pick up new offensive and defensive schemes.

BOZEMAN, Montana — Montana
State mounted its most successful run since Ronald Reagan was the President of
the United States the last time the Bobcats took the field in the fall of 2019.

Yet MSU, a squad led by quartet of senior All-American candidates who have led the revitalization of toughness across the program, enters the 2021 season with as many questions as any in the Big Sky Conference.

Montana State finished as one of the final four teams in the
country, winning seven games in a row to advance to the semifinals of the 2019
FCS playoffs, marking MSU’s first run to the semis since its most recent
national championship in 1984.

Fearsome stalwarts like linebacker Troy Andersen, offensive linemen Lewis Kidd and Taylor Tuiasosopo along with defensive tackle Chase Benson and defensive end Amandre Williams lead the charge for a team that was voted No. 7 in the nation in the preseason FCS poll presented by STATS Perform yet was picked fourth by both the Big Sky Conference’s coaches and affiliated media in the league's preseason polls.

Headliners like junior running back Isaiah Ifanse, junior offensive lineman Zach Redd and senior cornerback Tyrel Thomas will also have a say if MSU is to chase its third straight playoff berth and its first Big Sky title since 2012.

The most central questions for a Bobcat team harboring lofty internal expectations center upon shaking off the rust after not playing any games in almost 23 months; the transition to a new coaching staff; and the efficiency at which these Bobcats pick up new offensive and defensive schemes.

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Photos by Brooks Nuanez or noted. 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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