FRISCO, Texas— Thousands of Montana State football fans who made the trip to Frisco, Texas for the FCS national championship and thousands more across the country are disappointed in the outcome, following the Bobcat’s 38-10 loss to the North Dakota State Bison.
But after all, it was Montana State’s first trip to this stage in 37 years. And the feeling among former players on the field and in the tailgate area following the game was one of optimism, and hope for the future of the program.
Take it from Travis Jonsen, a guy who recently won a Super Bowl title as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad.
”We’re going to be back, we’re going to be back,” Jonsen said following the game. “That’s the best thing about this, we’re going to be back. There’s a lot of young talent out there, on defense and offense. I’m excited for the guys, they’re going to be back.”
Or Greg Andal, a member of the Bopcats’ 1984 National championship team.
”You know you have to walk before you can run,” Andal said. “If they keep working hard, there’s a lot of optimism for the future.”
Or former safety West Wilson, a 2017 MSU graduate. He now makes videos for national sports website Bleacher Report.
“Especially this being (Brent) Vigen’s first year, he’s never been anywhere with this team, beside a national championship,” Wilson said. “It’s a very, very strong standard to set. We always used to say, don’t make plans for Thanksgiving, don’t make plans for Christmas, because you want to be playing football still. So hopefully, they can keep it rolling and be here next year and years to come.”
How about Travis Lulay, a former Canadian football League MVP and arguably the greatest Bobcat of all time.
“Hopefully the guys feel that. Hopefully the guys know, that even after today’s result it was a really fun run to be a part of. Brought a lot of pride back to the program,” Lulay said. “I think the guys know where the bar is, and there’s another level they want to get to. But I think they have a good vision for where we want to be.”
It’s alright to be disappointed in the result, but the program is in a good place.
“This program is on the way up and you can see it with the players and coaches and the fanbase,” said former quarterback Rob Compson. “We had a great following down here. And I think there’s going to be bright things in the future here.”
The trip home will be long, but the off-season will be short. Spring drills and a chance to build on the success of 2021 are right around the corner.