MISSOULA — No. 4-ranked Montana State gave up a touchdown on the opening drive to No. 3-ranked Montana and struggled in all three phases of the game Saturday in a 37-7 loss to close the regular season at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula.
The Grizzlies, who captured the Big Sky Conference title with Saturday's win, led 20-0 at halftime before Montana State opened the second half with a quick touchdown drive. But those proved to be MSU's only points of the game. UM out-gained MSU 430-280 in total yardage and scored on all five red zone opportunities.
"We didn't come out and play the way we'd hoped to, expected to," said Bobcats head coach Brent Vigen. "It's pretty clear we got beat in all three phases (of the game). Never quite got the momentum back. I thought the quick score after half gave us a shot, and then we gave up a kickoff return to midfield, and then they go and score.
"A lot of things I think we can look at. ... What could we have done better? Certainly, I think credit goes to Montana (and) how they played."
MSU drops to 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky Conference. Montana improves to 10-1, 7-1.
"I think there's two ways you can go after this," said Cats defensive end Brody Grebe. "You can either let it define you or you can respond, and I think I know this team well enough (to know) the choice that we're going to make as well as the choice I'm going to make."
FCS national playoff seedings and pairings will be announced Sunday morning.
The full press conference with Grebe and Vigen can be seen in the video above.