Bobcat run game eases Rovig transition as Cats race to 56-21 win
Editor’s note: Brooks Nuanez provided the interviews, photos and color commentary for this story.
BOZEMAN, Montana — Jeff Choate gave a three-minute statement about the potential perils of the Big Sky Conference when he was asked Monday about preserving the health of his do-everything junior captain, two-way superstar Troy Andersen.
On Saturday against an overmatched visitor in Norfolk State, the Bobcats did not play Andersen at all with Big Sky play looming next week. Sophomore starting running back Isaiah Ifanse sat out, bringing his unavailable streak to 10 quarters and counting. Senior running back Karl Tucker II also did not dress for the second straight game.
And after rushing for more than 100 yards and scoring two touchdowns to help stake Montana State to a 28-14 lead over Norfolk State at halftime, senior Logan Jones did not take a snap in the second half.
None of that attrition meant a thing to the Montana State run game. The Bobcat offensive line won at the point of attack from start to finish and MSU’s rushing attack made sophomore Tucker Rovig’s first start at quarterback this season go smoothly as the Bobcats ran away with their third straight victory.
Jones (101), redshirt freshman Lane Sumner (111) and his classmate Shane Perry (113) each rushed for more than 100 yards, the first time that has ever happened at MSU. Montana State piled up 449 yards rushing and averaged 8.6 yards per carry, the third-best single-game total in school history.
That ground dominance opened things up for Rovig, a sophomore who threw for 221 yards and four touchdowns as Montana State cruised to a 56-21 victory in front of 17,647 at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman on Saturday afternoon.