Week 7 - Sac State at Montana State

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SDHornet
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Week 7 - Sac State at Montana State

The Hornets (3-2, 1-0 BSC) head to Bozeman to face the 6th ranked Montana State Bobcats (5-1, 2-0 BSC). MSU is looking to make a run for the BSC Title and the playoffs and they are off to a great start. MSU had an impressive 38-17 win over a 12th ranked SEMO in week 2 but have been a part of some wild games the last two weeks. The Bobcats fell behind at home to NAU but rallied for 28 4th quarter points to win 49-31. Last week at SLO, MSU jumped out to a 28-7 lead only to have Cal Poly come roaring back to force overtime in which MSU was able to prevail 34-28.

MSU’s offense has a similar look to what the Hornets run but are a run first offense that has a fair amount of “Wildcat” sprinkled in. They’ll go up-tempo to keep opposing defenses on their toes. MSU’s offense is currently ranked 36th in FCS: 35.0 ppg (24th), 429.5 ypg, 264.7 rush ypg (7th), 164.8 pass ypg (104th). Sophomore QB Tucker Rovig (46/76, 494 yds, 6 TD, 2 INT, 22 car, 18 yds, 2 TD) leads this young offense but he struggles with accuracy down the field.

MSU has a stable of capable RBs that have all been used extensively this season. RB Logan Jones (64 car, 416 yds, 5 TD) gets the bulk of the workload with RB Isaiah Ifanse (36 car, 260 yds) and WR Travis Jonsen (38 car, 267 yds, 4 TD, 22 cat, 229 yds, 1 TD) getting plenty of carries as well. Jonsen gets his carries out of the “Wildcat”. The passing game doesn’t have much variety with WR Kevin Kassis (28 cat, 312 yds, 2 TD) and WR Coy Steel (14 car, 221 yds, 4 TD) alongside Jonsen getting almost all of the catches for this offense.

The Bobcat defense is loaded with upperclassmen but have allowed opposing offenses to move the ball at will. The 4-3 MSU defense is currently ranked 64th in FCS: 26.0 ppg (T-32nd), 400.2 ypg, 160.8 rush ypg (62nd), 239.3 pass ypg (75th). While this Bobcat defense has struggled at times (especially against an up-tempo style of play), they have been able to stiffen up when needed. They are 2nd in the BSC in sacks (15, behind the Hornets with 16) so this defense knows how to get after a QB. OLB Micheal Jobman (39 tkl, 4.5 TFL) leads the MSU defensein tackles with MLB Callahan O’Reilly (36 tkl, 3 TFL, 1 sack) and DE Bryce Sterk (36 tkl, 12 TFL, 8.5 sacks) being huge components of this defense.

MSU’s kicking game has struggled this season. Senior K Tristan Bailey is 5/9 on the year but 3 of those misses are from 40+. The MSU P Jered Padmos has a big leg and MSU is 17th in FCS in net punting (39.8 ypp, 8 I20, 12 50+).

This MSU team has shown great resilience in the past couple of weeks and they’ll be amped to play the Hornets for homecoming this week. That said, this MSU team looks vulnerable for a let down considering their inability to take care of business for 60 minutes. As of now the weather doesn’t look like it’ll be an issue so if the Hornets can overcome the long travel and jump out of the gate with some quick scores, the Hornet defense can pin back their ears and get after the young Rovig. I’m going with a Hornet upset here.

Stingers Up!
"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." W.C. Fields
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This past Saturday was the biggest game of the season, considering the opponent and the need to get off to a good start in the Big Sky. But now this game becomes the most important game of the season — as likely each game following it will become.

IMO a big key will be the defense remaining stout against the run, as they have for most of the season so far. Really, only QB scrambles have hurt them. If they can win that battle against MSU in their own backyard, I like their chances.

Offensively, I’d like to see Coach Taylor get the ball in Elijah Dotson’s hands more via the running game. He’s been a weapon in the pass game, but up until this past week, he’s just not been getting enough opportunities to run it behind the o-line.
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cats2506
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Good write up, the only thing I will take issue with is "this MSU team looks vulnerable for a let down considering their inability to take care of business for 60 minutes" I suppose I can see your thinking but I don't see MSU as vulnerable for a letdown, Sac St. definitely has the Bobcats attention as probably the best team to come into Bozeman this year.

It will be interesting to see how the #1 BSC Rushing Defense handles the #1 BSC Rushing Offense. MSU has generally done better in the second half because the OL will just wear out most DL. I think Sac's DL may be the best we have seen and it will be interesting to see if they can play for 4 quarters with our OL. It look like the full stable of backs are clear to go this week, including Ifanse.

On the other side I will be looking to see if we can get QB pressure with 4, I think our Secondary will hold up, we get our top corner back this week from preseason injury. We tend to make changes in our LB linup depending on the type of offense we are facing. Andersen is looking healthy last week and should be good to go at LB, he will probably be limited on Offense.

This should be a good game, both teams have a lot to play for a SAC win could vault them quite a way in the polls, and the Cats are determined to earn a seed this year. It is the general opinion that SAC will have the toughest defense we will see this year.
Choate's Monday presser

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cats2506 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:55 am
This should be a good game, both teams have a lot to play for a SAC win could vault them quite a way in the polls, and the Cats are determined to earn a seed this year. It is the general opinion that SAC will have the toughest defense we will see this year.
Choate's Monday presser
Thanks for sharing the PC. It was a good listen.
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SDHornet
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cats2506 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:55 am
Good write up, the only thing I will take issue with is "this MSU team looks vulnerable for a let down considering their inability to take care of business for 60 minutes" I suppose I can see your thinking but I don't see MSU as vulnerable for a letdown, Sac St. definitely has the Bobcats attention as probably the best team to come into Bozeman this year.

It will be interesting to see how the #1 BSC Rushing Defense handles the #1 BSC Rushing Offense. MSU has generally done better in the second half because the OL will just wear out most DL. I think Sac's DL may be the best we have seen and it will be interesting to see if they can play for 4 quarters with our OL. It look like the full stable of backs are clear to go this week, including Ifanse.

On the other side I will be looking to see if we can get QB pressure with 4, I think our Secondary will hold up, we get our top corner back this week from preseason injury. We tend to make changes in our LB linup depending on the type of offense we are facing. Andersen is looking healthy last week and should be good to go at LB, he will probably be limited on Offense.

This should be a good game, both teams have a lot to play for a SAC win could vault them quite a way in the polls, and the Cats are determined to earn a seed this year. It is the general opinion that SAC will have the toughest defense we will see this year.
Choate's Monday presser
MSU was able to take advantage of NAU mistakes and force some turnovers to get back in that game. I was very unimpressed with MSU in the first half, but credit to MSU's defense and the teams resilience in that game.

I haven't seen any of the CP game as the replay wasn't up last I checked, but letting CP's triple option attack climb back into it with 21 4th quarter points isn't impressive. CP is better than last season but they are not the CP of a handful of years ago. The CP game is one that should have never gotten that close, I think this just speaks to the youth/inexperience on the offensive side for MSU. MSU plays a full 60 at SLO and the game doesn't go into OT.

I agree about being susceptible to the run late in the game. We saw that at Fresno State, so if the Hornet defense if on the field too much then I fully expect MSU's ground and pound game to take its toll.

Should be a good game. The Hornets are looking for their first road win since last Sept at UNC.
"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." W.C. Fields
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SDHornet
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BuckeyeHornetFan wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:24 pm
cats2506 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:55 am
This should be a good game, both teams have a lot to play for a SAC win could vault them quite a way in the polls, and the Cats are determined to earn a seed this year. It is the general opinion that SAC will have the toughest defense we will see this year.
Choate's Monday presser
Thanks for sharing the PC. It was a good listen.
Good presser. Coach Chaote has obviously been looking at Sac State for a number of weeks now.
"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." W.C. Fields
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cats2506
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SDHornet wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:00 pm
MSU was able to take advantage of NAU mistakes and force some turnovers to get back in that game. I was very unimpressed with MSU in the first half, but credit to MSU's defense and the teams resilience in that game.

I haven't seen any of the CP game as the replay wasn't up last I checked, but letting CP's triple option attack climb back into it with 21 4th quarter points isn't impressive. CP is better than last season but they are not the CP of a handful of years ago. The CP game is one that should have never gotten that close, I think this just speaks to the youth/inexperience on the offensive side for MSU. MSU plays a full 60 at SLO and the game doesn't go into OT.

I agree about being susceptible to the run late in the game. We saw that at Fresno State, so if the Hornet defense if on the field too much then I fully expect MSU's ground and pound game to take its toll.

Should be a good game. The Hornets are looking for their first road win since last Sept at UNC.
You right in the NAU game we were missing some players on offense, the first half we just couldn't get the run established, but those body blows took their toll and early in the second half they were unable to keep up either offensively or defensively. TA was limited and ineffective, Ifanse was out, Logan jones was playing with broken ribs and in pain, Tucker III was out, which means the #4 and #5 RB's carried the majority of snaps, Steel (WR) left the game early. All are expected back for this game

As for the CP game, I think that defensively you have to throw it out, there is nothing schematically that we do there that you will see in any other game unless we play another triple option team. We had some mistakes that let them back into the game, a bad punt (7 yds not characteristic of Padmos) and an INT that was probably Rovig's worst decision to date. I wouldn't buy into thinking that you will get lots of turnovers, while we have had a few, we have been pretty good about that +3 for the season, SAC is +4. Offensively we did what was needed, just had some mistakes late in the game. the OT wasn't even a contest, the went 3 and out forcing a 48 yd FG attempt, MSU scored in 3 plays, running the same exact running play each time, they absolutely knew what was coming but could not stop it.

Playing at home in what should be a full stadium this team plays well, Like Coach said you have a good team and they should be ranked, I expect a close game.

I will be interested to see how your run defense holds up, I know its ranked #1 in the BSC right now but I think it might be a little sustainable given that you haven't played a big physical OL with a deep stable of running backs that will pound away all game. I know you have a good front 7, it is going to be fun to watch.

Is anybody coming up to the game?
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GreenArmySwarm
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Though the match-up focus for this game is MSU's running game/O-line against the Hornet's Run-D, I think the match-up that I'm a lot more intrigued with is the Hornets' passing game versus (the weather?/MSU pressure D line)

A) I honestly think that if the Hornets D didn't break (sure heck did bend a few times) in Tempe against Arizona State (which has an RB that'll be playing on Sunday), it's going to be fine against MSU's run game. The Hornets' D will give up a few BIG runs that might even result in TDs, but I don't think MSU's O-line will push Hornets' D-line around (unless there are a lot of uncalled holds not called -- which, let's admit, will happen since the Bobcats are playing at home). (Only Mont./MSU fans don't think they get special treatment from the refs, but thru track record and history, the other 11 Big Sky teams would strongly disagree...lol...but that's a different discussion). Still thinking about that blatant LATE roughing the passer on Garret Saffron a few years back in a close game (AT HOME!) that wasn't called against UM but let's leave that in the past...lol :lol:

B) Hornet's under Troy Taylor is a pass happy offense that uses the run to set up the pass. But if the weather is bad (especially if it snows/rain...we know it's going to be cold with the current forecast being a 45F-high on Saturday) might as well put the W down for MSU. Yes, Defense definitely "travels" but air-raid offense often don't. I fully expect short routes, maybe let Dotson break out from the backfield to set up 3-5 yards quick dumb downs plenty and often in the game. That's the key if the Hornets want to pull the upset in Bozeman. The weather...and refs. :nod:


Side note: The Hornets are a 1.5 underdog against a top10 ranked team. So at least the sport betters are taking SAC seriously, unlike these poll voters and "experts".
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cats2506
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GreenArmySwarm wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:55 am
Though the match-up focus for this game is MSU's running game/O-line against the Hornet's Run-D, I think the match-up that I'm a lot more intrigued with is the Hornets' passing game versus (the weather?/MSU pressure D line)

A) I honestly think that if the Hornets D didn't break (sure heck did bend a few times) in Tempe against Arizona State (which has an RB that'll be playing on Sunday), it's going to be fine against MSU's run game. The Hornets' D will give up a few BIG runs that might even result in TDs, but I don't think MSU's O-line will push Hornets' D-line around (unless there are a lot of uncalled holds not called -- which, let's admit, will happen since the Bobcats are playing at home). (Only Mont./MSU fans don't think they get special treatment from the refs, but thru track record and history, the other 11 Big Sky teams would strongly disagree...lol...but that's a different discussion). Still thinking about that blatant LATE roughing the passer on Garret Saffron a few years back in a close game (AT HOME!) that wasn't called against UM but let's leave that in the past...lol :lol:

B) Hornet's under Troy Taylor is a pass happy offense that uses the run to set up the pass. But if the weather is bad (especially if it snows/rain...we know it's going to be cold with the current forecast being a 45F-high on Saturday) might as well put the W down for MSU. Yes, Defense definitely "travels" but air-raid offense often don't. I fully expect short routes, maybe let Dotson break out from the backfield to set up 3-5 yards quick dumb downs plenty and often in the game. That's the key if the Hornets want to pull the upset in Bozeman. The weather...and refs. :nod:


Side note: The Hornets are a 1.5 underdog against a top10 ranked team. So at least the sport betters are taking SAC seriously, unlike these poll voters and "experts".
45° and Sunshine should be perfect weather for football.
have about 4" of new snow and 19° where I live right now

BSC refs aren't biased, just bad :nod:
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80 degrees expected this Saturday in Sacramento.

Would be nice to have a watch party at Hornet Stadium or Hornet Gym.
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Just noticed the Kicker Depth Chart now says Madeiros OR Sentkowski for this week’s game.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Thomson be all-time holder, and giving Sentkowski a chance to kick with the A team before it reaches a point where he can no longer RS.
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This will be a game decided by kickers.
I don't feel all warm and fuzzy about our kicking situation.
Home team is always +3.
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Kadeezy wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:38 am
Just noticed the Kicker Depth Chart now says Madeiros OR Sentkowski for this week’s game.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Thomson be all-time holder, and giving Sentkowski a chance to kick with the A team before it reaches a point where he can no longer RS.
Kyle's only played in 2 games this year, he can still play in up to 2 more and still redshirt. They are hoping to "bank" those 2 games he can still play in and redshirt just in case something happens to Devon. Worst case scenario, Kyle plays his 4 games, Devon gets hurt and Kyle has to come in and play a 5th game, basically burning his redshirt and giving him only next year left with the program. (I'd REALLY enjoy coming down for games for TWO more seasons after this year's done!)
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Kadeezy wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:38 am
Just noticed the Kicker Depth Chart now says Madeiros OR Sentkowski for this week’s game.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Thomson be all-time holder, and giving Sentkowski a chance to kick with the A team before it reaches a point where he can no longer RS.
Agreed. Unless your quarterback's name happens to be named Tony Romo, as far as I'm concerned, the holder should ALWAYS be a quarterback, be s/he the starter or not. I've NEVER liked the idea of making the punter (or anyone else, for that matter) the holder. Quarterbacks are usually more adept at fielding bad snaps (Romo not withstanding), and there's always the threat of a fake to keep the defense honest. Most pure punters can't run or pass their way out of a wet paper bag. In fact, I REALLY liked the Oregon fake FG we had during my time at Sac State (O for Option), where the holder took the snap, got up, and immediately got in a 4x4 pitch relationship with the kicker. We didn't use it all that often, but it was fun when we did. Sure, Los Angeles had a decent holder in safety Nolan Cromwell back in the day, but those are few and far between. Quarterbacks ALWAYS make the best holders....
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GreenArmySwarm
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Counting down the hours till the Hornets take the field!

Also glad that it's an early game! This alum is based in NYC now so a 4pm game is a treat!

:nod:
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GreenArmySwarm wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:26 am
Counting down the hours till the Hornets take the field!
Same here, and it's taking too danged long for kickoff to get here!
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SDHornet
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Waiting for 2506 to tell us how this was a fluke. :lol:

Hornets spanked MSU from the jump and this game was over from late in the 2nd qtr. :nod: :lol:

Credit for MSU keeping this game closer than it was. That late 2nd qtr TD made this one closer than it really was. Thomson's INT kept this closer than it should of been but of course that 4th and goal stop really answered any questions anyone had about this Hornet D. :nod: 8-)
"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." W.C. Fields
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SDHornet wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:24 pm
Waiting for 2506 to tell us how this was a fluke. :lol:

Hornets spanked MSU from the jump and this game was over from late in the 2nd qtr. :nod: :lol:

Credit for MSU keeping this game closer than it was. That late 2nd qtr TD made this one closer than it really was. Thomson's INT kept this closer than it should of been but of course that 4th and goal stop really answered any questions anyone had about this Hornet D. :nod: 8-)
True that.

This was a huge win. But now next Saturday becomes the most important game of the season. Even if they manage to earn another big W, there’s still a ton of work left to do.

As you know, they’ve got the toughest schedule in the Big Sky and 6th toughest in all of the FCS.

But let’s all have fun this week talking about and prepping for the biggest game the Hornets have had since the days of Ricky Ray, Charles Roberts, the Hammerheads, and ‘Big Cat’ John Volek. :thumb:
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SDHornet
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34-21 Hornet win. Now that I sobered up and had a chance to reflect on the game, it was complete domination in the trenches by the OL and DL. The story of the game has to be the way the defense played in key situations. The stop in the 1st quarter on that 4th and short that gave the offense a short field and an early lead to get things going. The constant pressure on the QB without the blitz and keeping MSU off the scoreboard in the 2nd half until garbage time. And of course the huge goal line stop in the 4th to ice the game.



The offense did well, specifically Thomson. He had a great game except one throw that was picked. Fortunately, the defense kept MSU out of the endzone on the ensuing drive (the goal line stand).

The only bad notes were another missed PAT and it looks like Isaiah Gable had a major knee injury. There were a few other injuries but they didn’t look too bad.

This Hornet team is running on all cylinders right now. Wow.
"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." W.C. Fields
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