Players to Watch and Game Information for Montana State’s Home Opener vs. Drake | Bobcats MSU
TIME, DAY, LOCATION: Saturday 6 p.m., Bobcat Stadium
VIDEO / STREAMING: ABC stations across Montana and SWX in Billings, ESPN +
RADIO: Bobcat radio network, msubobcats.com (Zach Mackey, Michael Rider, Dan Davies)
WEATHER: 71 degrees, possible scattered showers
Montana State: Brent Vigen
RECORD: 0-1; 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.
Drake: Todd Stepsis
REGISTRATION: 9-8; YEAR: Third
Stepsis was Drake’s defensive coordinator for five seasons before becoming head coach after the 2018 season. In their only full season under Stepsis in 2019, the Bulldogs were 6-5.
MONTANA STATE PLAYERS TO WATCH
86 – Lance McCutcheon – WR
McCutcheon, a product of Bozeman, had a lot of work last week, catching five of 11 targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. No other Bobcat has been targeted more than four times. If MSU continues to maintain a run-pass balance, McCutcheon will likely continue to play a key role.
22 – Isaiah Ifanse – RB
MSU head coach Brent Vigen said after last week’s game Ifanse probably should have gotten more work done, especially at the start. Still, Ifanse rushed for 103 yards on 16 attempts. If he carries the ball more, the 5-foot-10, 202-pound junior backer could be entitled to a big game.
5 – Jeffrey Manning Jr. – S
Manning played his first game last week since moving from Oregon State after the 2019 season. The junior had a pass that led to an early MSU touchdown and registered five tackles. The Bobcats believe they can count on him to make similar contributions in the future.
DRAKE PLAYERS TO WATCH
9 – Ian Corwin – QB
The Bobcats get ready for Corwin’s arm and legs. Last week, he completed 8 of 11 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown and ran four times for 35 yards and two scores. While the Bobcats have the skills to keep pace, Corwin’s dual threat abilities are worth watching.
25 – Robinson Cross – RB
Vigen said the 6-foot, 225-pound Robinson won’t be easy to face when he gets the ball. Last week he ran for 100 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. In Drake’s spring, he started five games and led the team with 301 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.
80 – Colin Howard – WR
Howard was a key part of Drake’s passing game. Last week, he totaled 87 receiving yards, including one from 79 yards, and one touchdown on two receptions. In the spring, the 6-1, 205-pound junior receiver paced the Bulldogs with 15 receptions, 256 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
– MSU is 2-1 against Drake, including wins in their last two encounters. The Bobcats’ most recent victory is a 34-24 triumph in 2012.
– Isaiah Ifanse’s 103-yard game last week was the ninth 100-yard game of his career and the first for a Montana State player against an FBS opponent since Chad Newell in Idaho in 2016. This Newell’s performance also came from a head coach. debut by Jeff Choate.
– After Texas Tech totaled 35 first downs in MSU’s 2019 season opener, the Bobcats only gave up 17 to Wyoming.
– The 19 points awarded by Montana State to Wyoming were the weakest against an FBS opponent since MSU’s 19-10 victory over Colorado in 2006.
–Blake Glessner’s 53-yard field goal last week is tied for the sixth longest in MSU history and is the longest in school by a freshman.
– Jeffrey Manning Jr.’s interception last week marked the third time this century that a Bobcat making his debut in the program has landed an assist (joining CJ Adkins in 2000 and Jahque Alleyne in 2018).
– Despite two red-shirted freshmen (Justus Perkins and TJ Session) leaving the offensive line, Montana State averaged four yards per carry compared to Wyoming’s 3.5 last week. The Bobcats have also allowed just two sacks.
THE LOWER LINE
Montana State nearly scored a surprise victory in Wyoming last week, and the Bobcats are eager to secure their first victory in two years. Although they lost, they showed a lot of potential against an opponent from FBS. Now they are going home and will be performing in front of their own fans. The Bobcats should feed off the energy of their surroundings and achieve victory.
Pool Pick: Montana State 42, Drake 14