Bobcat Sunday football notes

Following are Sunday’s Montana State football notes as provided by the MSU Sports Information Department …

Montana State’s win at Sacramento State Saturday gave Bobcat coach Rob Ash a couple of milestones. MSU’s sixth-year head coach…

* Won his 223rd career game, among the top 40 win totals for an active head coach

* Tied the legendary Sonny Holland for most career wins as Montana State’s coach, 47

* Led MSU to its third consecutive eight-win season, which MSU has previously accomplished only once, 1956-58

* Led MSU to its 19th conference win since the beginning of 2010, the most victories in the Big Sky in that time


OUT – SEASON: DE Odin Coe, OL Christian Williams, OL Charles Lee. OUT – INDEFINITELY: TE Tiai Salanoa, WR Jake Olson. PROBABLE: DT Zach Minter


Offense – RB Cody Kirk (5-10, 208, Jr, Frenchtown, MT)

Montana State’s junior running back rushed for a game-high 129 yards, his second straight100-yard game, to lead the Bobcats to a 20-17 win at Sacramento State. Kirk gained 42 yards in the fourth quarter as MSU came from behind to earn the victory, and 34 of them came on the Bobcats’ game-winning drive early in that period. Kirk scored two touchdowns, one in the first quarter and the other in the fourth, giving him 11 on the season. Kirk’s total is tied for the most rushing touchdowns in the league and tied for second-most touchdowns of any variety in the Big Sky, in spite of playing in only seven games. Kirk’s 18 points against North Dakota is the tied for the second-highest total by any Big Sky player this season, and he is only one of five players in the Big Sky with at least three rushing touchdowns in a game this season.

Defense – LB Na’a Moeakiola (5-11, 217, Jr, Euless, TX)

Na’a Moeakiola led Montana State’s staunch defensive effort in the Bobcats’ 20-17 win at Sacramento State Saturday. MSU’s junior middle linebacker registered a team-high nine tackles, five of them behind the line of scrimmage, and added one sack. Moeakiola’s five tackles-for-loss is the most by a Big Sky Conference player this season. Three of Moeakiola’s tackles-for-loss came on first down plays, and on Sacramento State’s first drive of the fourth quarter Moekiola’s sack and a tackle-for-loss helped force the Hornets into a 53-yard field goal try which fell short.

Special Teams – none


• DeNarius McGhee raised his record to 27-7 as Montana State’s starting quarterback, eclipsing Paul Dennehy’s school record of 26 wins

• McGhee’s school record of 33 straight games with a touchdown pass ended at Sacramento State, marking the first time in his career the he failed to throw for a score

• By throwing for 105 yards Saturday, McGhee moved into second in school history in career passing yards with 8,209

• With 83 more passing yards this season, McGhee would own three of Montana State’s top 10 single-season passing seasons

• Na’a Moeakiola registered five tackles-for-loss against Sac State, the most in the Big Sky this season and the most by a Bobcat since the great Adam Cordeiro had five tackles-for-loss (all sacks) against Idaho State in 2001

• Since missing a pair of games with an injury, Cody Kirk has rushed for 289 yards in the past two games, pushing his career total to 2,131, still ninth in school history

• Kirk’s two rushing touchdowns moves him into second in school history with 27, and his 11 this season is the fifth-best total ever by a Bobcat in spite of missing two-and-a-half of MSU’s nine games

• Montana State remains the Big Sky team with the best conference record since the beginning of 2010 (19-3), while Eastern Washington is second (18-5)

• Joel Fuller’s game-clinching interception Saturday was his first as a Bobcat

• Montana State continues to lead the Big Sky in rushing defense (65.9) and total defense (290.9), and stands first or second in four of the league’s five main defensive categories

• MSU leads the Big Sky in scoring offense (35.8)


OFFENSIVE MVP: RB Cody Kirk (Frenchtown, MT)

DEFENSIVE MVP: LB Na’a Moeakiola (Euless, TX)

KICK TEAMS MVP: P Trevor Bolton (Great Falls, MT) and P Rory Perez (Moreno Valley, CA)

OFFENSIVE SCOUT: QB Austin Barth (Columbia Falls, MT)

DEFENSIVE SCOUT: DT Nate Bignell (Drummond, MT)

SPECIAL TEAMS SCOUT: Fletcher Collins (Seattle, WA)



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