Newell, DL shine in Bobcat scrimmage

BOZEMAN — Rob Ash was impressed by the game of catch-up he saw at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“I felt like defense was really ahead of the offense all day throughout the practice, on our third downs simulated, the team periods that we did, the passing periods that we did, they made a lot of great plays. Then when we kicked into the live segment our (no.) one offense, I thought, executed extremely well. In sum I would say it was pretty even back and forth, but I was really happy with the offense in the live period.”

The Bobcat offense got untracked with Jake Bleskin under center. The junior from Great Falls engineered a touchdown drive, and Ash was pleased with the its nature. Chad Newell turned a reception on a short pass into about 20 yards, then Jake Bleskin found Gunnar Brekke on a 25-yard touchdown pass down the sideline.

“In football, explosive plays correlate very closely to wins,” MSU’s eighth-year head coach said. “There was an explosive play there, kind of a short pass, a dump-off to Chad Newell, and he made a bunch of people miss, and that got the offense rolling. The defense tried to make a stop with a great blitz by (Alex) Singleton that maybe, in a real game, might be a turnover, that was a great-timed blitz, so that was the defense’s chance to stop the rally. Then the play call and the execution on the touchdown pass was really nicely done. Newell’s play was impressive. There were good things both ways today.”

The MSU staff remains pleased with the work of both the currently active quarterbacks, Bleskin and Dakota Prukop. “Still really good by both of them,” Ash said. “I thought Jake had a little better day today, but that’s not going to decide things. It probably doesn’t favor Dakota that we can’t go live because one of his strengths is going to be running the football. But I thought Jake improved in that today, too.”

While the MSU defensive line has been depleted by injuries, especially at the end position, the front had a productive day on Saturday. “I thought the D-line had a great day,” Ash said. “They were very quick and very effective inside disrupting our blocking schemes. I’m really anxious to look at film and see how many mistakes were made and how many were just a case of D-line guys just winning one-on-ones against the O-line guys… Early on they destroyed a lot of plays early in the play.”

Montana State returns to practice Tuesday and Thursday before next weekend’s trip to Great Falls for the Triangle Classic. The event’s banquet is Friday evening, while the Bobcats scrimmage on Saturday.

— MSU Sports Information

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