The Big Sky Conference released the long awaited football schedule last week on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and laid out the spring 2021 season for the Montana State Bobcats.

The season kicks off against UC Davis on Sunday, Feb. 27, in California, followed by another away game at Weber State in Utah on Saturday, March 6. The Bobcats play their first home game on Saturday, March 13, against the University of Northern Colorado, and will close the season with two home games—one against Eastern Washington on Saturday, April 3, and the final against Idaho State on Saturday, April 10.

MSU will play against University of Montana in the annual Cat-Griz showdown. This year the game will be held at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday, March 27. Last season the Griz went 7— 0 at home and tied the Bobcats (and Eastern Washington) for third place in the conference, making this year’s Cat-Griz game an especially exciting matchup. 

"We're excited about the opportunity to play football," said Jeff Choate, MSU’s head coach, in an interview with Bobcat Athletics. "We've never backed away from competition and we look forward to playing a tough schedule in the spring."

Half of this season’s opponents have won the conference championship in the past four years, including Weber State—which shared the championship for the past three years in a row— Eastern Washington and UC Davis.

On top of confronting their opponents, the Bobcats will have to overcome the challenge of playing their entire season in winter conditions. 

“Weather is the biggest challenge,” said Leon Costello, Director of Bobcat Athletics. “We need to make sure our football student-athletes are prepared to play and getting into football shape with our weather conditions will be tough, with no real training facility.”

Though Bobcat Stadium will be ready to host games in the spring, the entire Bobcat Athletic Complex project will not be ready until the fall of 2021. This means that all of MSU’s spring sports will be sharing the available indoor training facilities with the postponed fall sports like football and volleyball.

The guidelines, restrictions and mandates of MSU’s sports attendance protocols continue to be refined in order to comply with local, state and federal government policies.

The NCAA has cut the total number of teams that will compete in the FCS playoffs from 24 down to 16 in order to accommodate greater flexibility for the post and regular season, according to a statement made by the association back in September. 

Though this spring will prove more challenging than usual for MSU’s football, Bobcats all over campus, and hopefully, the community will once again come together behind banners of blue and gold for yet another exciting football season. 

“It will have been almost 15 months since the Bobcat football team played a game,” Costello said. “Our student-athletes and coaches have done a great job in managing the effects of the pandemic but are ready to play. I think competition will be a good healer for everyone with all we have been through.”

A full schedule of the entire spring 2021 football season can be found at msubobcats.com/sports/football/schedule

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