Sunday Bobcat football notes

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

Montana State’s win Saturday was the 45th of Rob Ash’s Bobcat career, moving him a win closer to some major milestones. MSU’s sixth-year head coach…

* Moved to within two wins of Sonny Holland’s school-record 47 victories with MSU’s triumph over UC Davis

* Registered his 221st career win as a college head coach, moving him into the top 40 of college football coaches all-time

* Has engineered two of MSU’s 10 best in-season win streaks in school history (9 wins in 2011, 6 wins in 2012), along with Montana State’s third-best 15-game (13-2, currently) and 20-game (17-3, currently) stretches ever (behind 14-1 and 18-2 in 1976-77, and 14-0-1 and 17-2-1 in 1956-57)


OUT – SEASON: DE Odin Coe, OL Christian Williams. OUT – INDEFINITELY: OL Charles Lee. DOUBTFUL: TE Tiai Salanoa. QUESTIONABLE: RB Cody Kirk, LB Jody Owens, OG Matt Devereux


Offense – none

Defense – CB Darius Jones (5-10, 175, Sr, Rockwall, TX)

Darius Jones’ first interception of 2012 became one of Montana State’s biggest defensive plays of the year, as MSU’s senior cornerback returned that pick 45 yards late in the first half for a touchdown to give Montana State a 31-14 halftime margin. That seven points proved MSU’s winning margin in the team’s 48-41 road win Saturday. Jones also logged five solo tackles (five total) and forced a fumble (which was recovered by Steven Bethley). The Bobcat offense converted the possession begun by that fumble into a touchdown that gave MSU a 14-10 lead.

Special Teams – P/K Rory Perez (6-3, 179, Jjr, Moreno Valley, CA)

Montana State’s first-year place kicker converted both of his field goal attempts (27, 34) and all five of his extra point tries, scoring 11 points in Montana State’s 48-41 win over UC Davis. Perez his made all six of his field goal tries since taking over place-kicking chores in the Bobcats’ second game this season, the first six tries of his college career. In addition, Perez punted three times Saturday for a 45.7 yards-per-kick average, pinning UC Davis inside the 20 once and hitting one 55-yarder. Perez leads the Big Sky in kick scoring at 8.0 points a game, and is one of two regular kickers in the league without a missed field goal.


• Montana State leads the Big Sky in scoring (37.2), and is 10th in the FCS, while this week’s opponent Eastern Washington leads the Big Sky in scoring defense (19.2), which is tied for 22nd nationally

• Since the beginning of the 2010 season Montana State is 25-6 overall and 17-2 in Big Sky play, and in that period the two Big Sky schools with the best conference records (Eastern Washington is 15-4) meet in Bobcat Stadium this weekend

• Kruiz Siewing’s five catches Saturday marked his career high

• The Bobcats lead the Big Sky in rushing defense and total defense, and stand third in pass efficiency defense and scoring defense

• Tanner Bleskin caught 10 passes each in the two games before missing the Southern Utah contest with an injury, and answered his one-game absence with eight catches against UC Davis Saturday

• Cody Kirk’s 22 career rushing TDs is fifth in MSU history

• DeNarius McGhee has struck for at least one touchdown pass in each of his 31 games at Montana State, and his 59 career TD passes is one shy of Kelly Bradley’s school record of 60

• After failing to force a turnover in its first two games, the Bobcats have nine in the last four

• Zach Minter’s interception Saturday was the third of his career, and before Darius Jones’ pick-six in the second quarter Minter was the last Bobcat to return an interception for a TD (vs. EWU, 2010)

• Montana State leads the Big Sky in third down conversions (56.2%) and opponent third down conversions (26.7%)

• The Bobcats have six scoring drives of 84 yards or more this season

• Montana State’s last two opponents have held the Bobcats to less than 20 first downs


OFFENSIVE MVP: OG Quinn Catalano (San Diego, CA)

DEFENSIVE MVP: DE Brad Daly (Helena), CB Darius Jones (Rockwall, TX)

KICK TEAMS MVP: P/K Rory Perez (Moreno Valley, CA)

OFFENSIVE SCOUT: RB Morris Mouton (Palo Alto, CA), OL Dillon Fraley (Bigfork, MT)

DEFENSIVE SCOUT: DB Cody Cleveland (New Lennox, IL)

SPECIAL TEAMS SCOUT: Chad Newell (Billings, MT)