BOZEMAN — This Saturday at 1 p.m. the 8-1 Montana State Bobcats football team hosts the 3-6 Idaho Vandals, a team that is coming off an 18-point win against one win Southern Utah.
“Idaho has not had maybe the season that they hoped for but they’re a team that we feel like from a talent perspective and from the ability to come in here and challenge us, that have all the ingredients,” Bobcats head coach Brent Vigen said.
Coming off a big win against Eastern Washington, Montana State has to focus on this game. It’s easy to look past Idaho, but not to mention Saturday is Senior Day, the rival Montana Grizzlies are right around the corner and ESPN's "College Gameday" could possibly be heading to Missoula for that game.
“We talked about playing in November and these games matter so much for standings and rankings and all those type of things, but what really matters is are we getting better as a football team," the head coach said. "I think in many ways we did that on Saturday against a really good opponent and now we got to find a way to do it against Idaho.”
Idaho is ranked 110th in scoring defense, giving up 36 points per game. However, coach Vigen has history with Vandals defensive coordinator Mike Breske, as both were at North Dakota State in 2009. Breske also had a couple of stints on the Montana Grizzlies staff in his career.
“Coach Breski is a really good defensive mind," Vigen said. "They have the ability to do a lot. I think linebacker wise, in particular, their inside linebackers are really good players led by Trey Walker.”
The Vandals on offense have four running backs who average over four yards per carry. Their pass game is led by senior Mike Beaudry, who despite having a solid completion percentage only has four passing touchdowns in seven games, while throwing six interceptions.
“Offensively, they were without their quarterback for awhile and he’s a guy that you know he’s a transfer, has been at (University of Connecticut), had an opportunity to win a Division II championship in his time at West Florida," said Vigen. "He’s a talented guy that can throw the football well. He’s in the 65 range as far as his completion percentage. He’s got a couple of targets that have a lot of ability on the outside.”
This senior class has meant a lot to Vigen in his first year as head coach and he’s trying to make sure that Saturday’s Senior Day isn’t their last home game and they can host teams for the playoffs
“It’ll be great to send them off on Saturday, but hopefully we can find a way that this isn’t their last home game,” he said.