Bobcat football extended its win streak to five games on Saturday, Oct. 9, as they rolled past Cal Poly in a blowout win. Last week marked the annual Homecoming celebration at MSU, and Bobcat football added to the festivities with stellar play. The Cats put up 35 points in the first half on their way to a 45-7 victory that improves their record this season to 5-1, including a perfect 3-0 record against Big Sky Conference opponents.
MSU’s defense picked off four passes in the win, including a 39 yard pick-six for junior linebacker Callahan O’Reilly. “Obviously any time you touch the ball, you want to score,” O’Reilly said. “We preach takeaways all week at practice, so to get out there and get one always feels good.” When asked about the defense’s effort as a whole, O’Reilly said, “We were just flying around, when you get four takeaways it’s obviously a good day.”
It was indeed a good day for a defensive unit that has made a habit of forcing turnovers and limiting opponents to remarkably low offensive output. Cal Poly made a switch at quarterback for Saturday’s game, forcing the Cats to make significant defensive adjustments as the Mustangs relied heavily on the run game. Montana State Head Football Coach Brent Vigen was satisfied with his team’s defensive effort, especially considering the last-minute change of strategy. “They got some plays on us that we’ll have to correct but, by and large, we did a pretty good job of adjusting,” Vigen said.
Junior quarterback Matthew McKay had another solid outing, completing 14 of 18 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Although McKay took on the bulk of the work at the quarterback position on Sunday, it was third string quarterback Tommy Mellott who made a splash on his single snap under center. The Cats substituted Mellott in for McKay for one play, and Mellott scorched the Mustang defense with a 74 yard run that ended in the opposing end zone. “I was excited for him,” McKay said. “As soon as they called (the play) I was like ‘He’s gonna go score’ and that’s what he did. Fast guy for sure.”
The Cats head to Ogden, Utah, on Friday, Oct. 15, for a Big Sky Conference clash with 19th ranked Weber State. The Wildcats are 2-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference, but they have faced a far stronger schedule than the Bobcats this year. Weber State will be the toughest Big Sky Conference squad that the Bobcats have faced this season and the game will be a solid barometer for the Cats’ standing relative to other top teams in the FCS. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. on ESPNU, WatchESPN.com (which requires a cable subscription) and the Bobcat Radio Network.