Cats’ Sonny Holland Scrimmage is Saturday

BOZEMAN — Four more practices, including two scrimmages, and a lot of work. That is Rob Ash’s checklist for the remaining eight days of Montana State’s spring football practice session.

That eight-day home stretch of spring ball begins Saturday at 1 p,m. with the Sonny Holland Scrimmage. The Bobcats square off in a scrimmage at Bobcat Stadium featuring Blue and White teams. Ash said the event serves two important purposes.

“Dividing the team into two squads rather than going offense vs. defense gives us a different evaluation tool,” said MSU’s seventh-year head coach, who counts three championships and a school record 50 wins among his achievements with the Bobcat program. “We’ll get to look at players in different situations, not just ones going against ones and so on. It’s fun for the players, and it’s a good opportunity for the coaches.”

Ash said that it also provides Bobcat fans the opportunity to see live football in April. “We’ve used some different formats, but we like to give our fans a taste of live football. It is the only time in the spring players from different sides of the ball will be mixed together and cheering for each other, so that’s unique. It’s a good way to change things a little.”

The teams are scheduled to play four timed quarters of 12 minutes each in a scrimmage planned to last about 120 plays. Scrimmage plays will be live except for three quarterbacks – DeNarius McGhee of the Blue team and the White squad’s Jake Bleskin and Bobby Crane – while kick teams will feature either skeleton crews (place kicking) or tag-offs instead of tackling to the ground.

At the end of the day, though, Ash said continued evaluation remains the day’s top priority. “We want to look at some matchups, certain player-against-player matchups, which will help us really evaluate where we are at some of the positions with new starters,” he said. “We’ll continue to evaluate those positions through the rest of the spring.”

After Saturday’s scrum, the Bobcats practice in full pads Tuesday and Thursday before departing for Great Falls and the annual Triangle Classic next Friday.

— MSU Sports Information