Players to Watch and Game Information for Idaho State-Montana State | national


THE BASICS

TIME, DAY, LOCATION: 1 p.m. Saturday, Bobcat Stadium

TV: ABC and SWX channels (Billing), ESPN +

RADIO: Bobcat radio network, msubobcats.com

WEATHER: 54 degrees, mostly cloudy

COACHES

Montana State: Brent Vigen

REGISTRATION: 6-1; YEAR: First

Vigen arrived at MSU after seven seasons as Wyoming’s offensive coordinator. He was an assistant in several roles, including that of offensive coordinator, before that in the state of North Dakota.

State of Idaho: Rob Phenicie

CHECK-IN: 16-30; YEAR: Fifth

Phenicie was previously the wide receivers coach and an assistant head coach at the ISU in 2015 and 2016. He served as the offensive coordinator at Cal State Northridge, Wyoming, Montana and UNLV.

MONTANA STATE PLAYERS TO WATCH

13 – Elijah Elliott – RB

Elliott has made hard-hitting plays every time he steps onto the pitch. He ran for 31 yards on four carries last week at Weber State. Given that Montana State will likely be ahead early, Elliott could receive plenty of runs as the Bobcats look to control possession time.

44 – Daniel Hardy – DE

Against Weber State, Hardy had eight best tackles, three sacks and forced a fumble en route to the defensive player of the week at Big Sky. If the ISU drags and passes more to catch up, Hardy will have a chance to play more explosively.

0 – Tyrel Thomas – DB

Thomas has played a few games since recovering from pre-season knee surgery. As the Bobcats hope to keep depth at the cornerback position, Thomas’ presence could be important. With an interception this season, he has a chance to make more impactful plays this week.

IDAHO STATE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Saints place tight end Juwan Johnson on COVID reserve list

80 – Tanner Conner – WR

While several quarterbacks have played for the Bengals, Conner has found a way to be the ISU’s primary receiver. He caught 19 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. The Bengals could continue to rely on the 6-3, 235-pound senior, especially if the Bobcats get up early.

0 – Xavier Guillory – WR

The Bobcats will have to be careful of the multiple threats received by the ISU. Guillory, a 6-2, 220-pound freshman, caught 17 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown. If MSU focuses too much on slowing the hasty attack on ISU or its other receptors, Guillory could profit.

2 – Jayden Dawson – CB

Dawson, a 5-10, 185-pound junior, has impacted the Bengals in a number of ways. He’s third on the team with 35 tackles, including two for losses, but he also leads the ISU with nine broken assists. He also intercepted a pass and returned it for 61 yards and forced a fumble.

HIGHLIGHTS

– Montana State has won six in a row against Idaho State at Bobcat Stadium. The Bengals won the last game 24-17 in Pocatello, Idaho, in 2018.

– MSU’s 13-7 win over Weber State last week marked the fewest points the Bobcats have scored in a win since a 7-3 win over Southern Utah in 2007. Their first nine tries are the fewest many in a victory since a total of that number against Stephen F. Austin in 1994.

– Daniel Hardy is fifth in the FCS in loss tackles (1.9 per game) and eighth in sacks (1.14 per game). His total of 13.5 tackles for a loss is 4.5 on MSU’s career best 10 list, and with eight sacks he is two behind 10th on the school’s season list.

-New kicker Blake Glessner scored seven points in MSU’s 13-6 win, two of his four kickoffs pinned Weber State inside his own 25-yard line, and he’s now had 10 consecutive goals, four less than Bobcat’s record.

–Idaho State lost 31-10 to Portland State last week, their fifth straight road loss.

– Five of Bryce Leighton’s eight punts last week forced Weber State star Rasheed Shaheed to make five fair catches.

– Matthew McKay scored his first touchdown as a Bobcat last week at Weber State.

– MSU kept its seven opponents under 20 points, 355 total yards and 20 first downs. The Bobcats are 18th in the FCS for rushing defense (108.3 yards per game), eighth for passing yards allowed (161.6 per game), eighth for total defense (269.9 yards). per game) and third for scoring defense (10.6 points per game).

THE LOWER LINE

After a poor offensive performance at Weber State, Montana State will be eager to bounce back. The Bobcats have a clear opportunity to do so against a struggling Idaho State team. MSU should score early and often in this game.

The Bobcats’ defense should also thrive, as it has for most of the season. MSU has a chance to enter its week off, before facing two ranked opponents in its last three regular-season games, on a seven-game winning streak. The Bobcats are in a good position to do so.

Pool Choice: Montana State 55, Idaho State 14


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