Live coverage as the No. 5 Montana State Bobcats host Albany in the second round of the FCS playoffs Dec. 7, 2019, at Bobcat Stadium.
PREGAME: After securing a bye for the first round, Montana State hosts a second-round playoff game today against Albany. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium. The game can be streamed on ESPN3.
The fifth-seeded Bobcats (9-3) have won four straight games, including a 48-14 home victory over rival Montana in the regular-season finale on Nov. 23. Albany (9-4), an at-large playoff team from the Colonial Athletic Association, is coming off a 42-14 victory over Central Connecticut State in the first round. It was the Great Danes first-ever postseason win.
MSU is seeking its first trip to the quarterfinals since 2012. Today’s winner will play the winner of a second-round game between Sacramento State and Austin Peay.
On the injury front, MSU linebacker/quarterback Troy Andersen is not in uniform today and is wearing a brace on his right knee.
FIRST QUARTER: On Albany's third play from scrimmage, QB Jeff Undercuffler finds WR Juwan Green for a 58-yard touchdown pass. Green makes a leaping catch in double coverage and outruns the defense to put the Great Danes up 7-0 early. But the Bobcats answer quickly, as Travis Jonsen takes a wildcat snap, cuts left and runs 47 yards for the tying touchdown with 12:16 on the clock.
Isaiah Ifanse then makes his presence known, not as a ball carrier but on special teams, as he blocks an Albany punt. The ball sails out of the end zone for a safety as the Bobcats take a 9-7 advantage.
Later, MSU's Coy Steel returns a punt 31 yards and is hit late out of bounds, which draws a 15-yard penalty to put the Bobcats at the Albany 17. That leads to a 5-yard swing pass from Tucker Rovig to Kevin Kassis for a touchdown. 16-7 Bobcats lead now.
Steel then returns another punt 41 yards into Albany territory late in the quarter. However, running back Logan Jones coughs up a fumble on the ensuing play that Albany recovers. The Bobcats then force a punt before an eventful first quarter comes to an end. SCORE: Montana State 16, Albany 7
SECOND QUARTER: Jonsen starts the second quarter with a 32-yard run out of the wildcat to put the Bobcats at the Albany 27. A few plays later, Ifanse burst through a hole and scores from 12 yards out to make the score 23-7 with 12:42 remaining. Coy Steel then adds to his punt return yard total with a 34-yard return, but Tristan Bailey is wide right on a 49-yard field goal attempt.
The Bobcats get the ball back, though, a couple plays later as Damien Washington jumps in front of an Undercuffler pass for his second career interception. Albany then blocks a 44-yard field goal attempt by Tristan Bailey. Bailey saves a touchdown with a tackle on A.J. Mistler, and Washington snuffs out the drive with his second interception of the game.
Later in the quarter, Albany kicker Dylan Burns misses a 45-yard field goal and the Bobcats regain possession. Rovig then finds Kassis deep with a 44-yard pass down the sideline as MSU moves inside Albany's 20. Rovig takes the ball to the 1 on a fake pitch to Ifanse with 25 seconds left. Ifanse is stood up at the goal line, and then Bailey makes a 19-yard field goal with one second remaining. SCORE: Montana State 26, Albany 7
THIRD QUARTER: The Bobcats quickly added to their lead as Rovig hit wideout Lance McCutcheon with a 49-yard touchdown pass down the sideline. McCutcheon leaped for the ball and made a nice catch, then trotted into the end zone unabated to give MSU a 33-7 advantage. The Bobcats defense then forces another Albany punt with 8:39 on the clock.
Rovig hits McCutcheon again for another deep TD, this time down the far sideline for 42 yards and a 40-7 lead. Rovig has so far thrown for 245 yards and three touchdowns. SCORE: Montana State 40, Albany 7
FOURTH QUARTER: Rovig fires a strike Kassis for 32 yards. That leads to a 3-yard touchdown and a 47-7 advantage. It's the most points the Bobcats have ever scored in a playoff game. Karl Mofor added a touchdwown run for Albany, their first points since the first quarter, but the Bobcats are well on their way to their first quarterfinal game since 2012.
Undercuffler hits receiver Jerah Reeves for a 16-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to give Albany another score with 1:04 remaining in the game. MSU is able to take a knee to end the game on the following possession.
FINAL SCORE: Montana State 47, Albany 21