Game Day

After delayed debut, Manning excelling in Bobcat secondary

on

Jeffrey Manning, Jr. has had a big impact on the Montana State football team, both literally and figuratively. A person needs to look no further than the play he made at the 1:16 mark of the first quarter in the Bobcats’ most recent game against the Cal Poly Mustangs to understand all of that.

The 6-foot-1, 192-pound junior’s literal jolt on Cal Poly wide receiver Xavier Moore ended up putting MSU in prime territory to gain a two-touchdown lead. Moore had all but secured the football for what would’ve been a first down when Manning laid him out on the Bobcat Stadium turf.

Montana State safety Jeffrey Manning sticks Cal Poly’s Xavier Moore/ by Jason Bacaj

The hit jarred the ball loose, sending it directly into the hands of cornerback Tyrel Thomas for an interception that could’ve just as easily been ruled a forced fumble/fumble recovery. It also happened to be Thomas’ first series back after missing time early with an injury.

Figuratively, the Oregon State transfer, his presence on that play and all season has been a key influence in taking the MSU secondary from a huge question mark to an admiration of the statement Brent Vigen made during fall camp.

MSU’s first-year head coach consistently said “it might be our least proven but most talented group.” And the first half of the season has shown that this Bobcat secondary might be as formidable as the unit that helped MSU advance to the semifinals for the first time in 35 years back in 2019.

The Bobcats lost All-Big Sky safeties, Brayden Konkol and Jahque Allenye, along with cornerback Damien Washington. Key safety JoJo Henderson also used up his eligibility and cornerback Greg Filer III, who started in 2018, decided to transfer, leaving not only holes at three-fourths of the starting spots, but in the depth chart as well.

Jeffrey Manning, Jr. has had a big impact on the Montana State football team, both literally and figuratively. A person needs to look no further than the play he made at the 1:16 mark of the first quarter in the Bobcats’ most recent game against the Cal Poly Mustangs to understand all of that.

The 6-foot-1, 192-pound junior’s literal jolt on Cal Poly wide receiver Xavier Moore ended up putting MSU in prime territory to gain a two-touchdown lead. Moore had all but secured the football for what would’ve been a first down when Manning laid him out on the Bobcat Stadium turf.

Montana State safety Jeffrey Manning sticks Cal Poly’s Xavier Moore/ by Jason Bacaj

The hit jarred the ball loose, sending it directly into the hands of cornerback Tyrel Thomas for an interception that could’ve just as easily been ruled a forced fumble/fumble recovery. It also happened to be Thomas’ first series back after missing time early with an injury.

Figuratively, the Oregon State transfer, his presence on that play and all season has been a key influence in taking the MSU secondary from a huge question mark to an admiration of the statement Brent Vigen made during fall camp.

MSU’s first-year head coach consistently said “it might be our least proven but most talented group.” And the first half of the season has shown that this Bobcat secondary might be as formidable as the unit that helped MSU advance to the semifinals for the first time in 35 years back in 2019.

The Bobcats lost All-Big Sky safeties, Brayden Konkol and Jahque Allenye, along with cornerback Damien Washington. Key safety JoJo Henderson also used up his eligibility and cornerback Greg Filer III, who started in 2018, decided to transfer, leaving not only holes at three-fourths of the starting spots, but in the depth chart as well.

About Thomas Stuber

Recommended for you