Montana State vs. Northern Colorado

The Montana State football team warms up before its game against Northern Colorado on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman.

Live coverage as the Montana State Bobcats host the University of Colorado from Bobcat Stadium Oct. 2, 2021.

PREGAME: After defeating Portland State 30-17 last week in Hillsboro, Oregon, in both teams' Big Sky opener, Montana State moved up from No. 13 to No. 11 in this week's Stats Perform FCS Top 25. 

The Bobcats (3-1, 1-0 Big Sky) will try to win their 11th straight game over the Bears (2-2, 1-0) on Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Stadium. MSU is 22-10-1 all time against UNC.

The Bobcats are 21 1/2-point favorites to win Saturday's game.

FIRST QUARTERMSU scored on its opening drive for the second time this season (the first time was a touchdown on Sept. 18 against San Diego). Matthew McKay completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lance McCutcheon to put the Bobcats ahead 7-0 with 10:31 left on the first quarter clock.

McCutcheon scored again at the 6:41 mark, this time on a 10-yard run. He took the handoff on a sweep and had a clear path to the end zone, putting MSU ahead 14-0. The score was set up by an interception from MSU linebacker Callahan O'Reilly on the previous drive. Both McCutcheon and O'Reilly graduated from Bozeman High.

Blake Glessner made it 17-0 three minutes later on a 25-yard field goal.

The Bobcats out-gained the Bears 178-20 in total offense in the quarter.

SCORE: Montana State 17, Northern Colorado 0

SECOND QUARTER: Glessner made his second field goal of the game, a 30-yarder with 10:58 left in the first half to put the Bobcats ahead 20-0.

UNC scored for the first time with 2:06 left on a seven-yard pass from Dylan McCaffrey to Kassidy Woods. Both McCaffrey (Michigan) and Woods (Washington State) are FBS transfers. 

MSU cornerback Eric Zambrano halted another promising UNC drive with an interception, which he returned to UNC's 47-yard line with 33 seconds left in the half. With 14 seconds remaining, Isaiah Ifanse rushed for a 17-yard TD run to put MSU back up by 20 points.

SCORE: Montana State 27, Northern Colorado 7

THIRD QUARTER: MSU went ahead 30-7 with 10:36 left in the quarter on a 41-yard field goal from Glessner. Two plays earlier, the Bobcats were called for a personal foul penalty that moved a third down and six from the nine-yard line 15 yards back.

Another Glessner field goal, from 21 yards out, put the Bobcats up 33-7 with 4:38 on the clock. 

True freshman receiver Andrew Patterson caught a McKay pass and sprinted 44 yards for a TD at the 1:37 mark of the quarter. It was the first catch and score of Patterson's MSU career.

SCORE: Montana State 40, Northern Colorado 7

FOURTH QUARTER: A muffed punt from MSU's Willie Patterson toward the end of the third quarter put UNC in good position to score, but a couple of dropped passes and strong Bobcat defense forced a turnover on downs, with nickelback Ty Okada winning a battle for the ball in the end zone to grab the second interception of his season and career. The Bears had a first and goal from the 3-yard line, and the final two plays were from the 1. 

FINAL SCORE: Montana State 40, Northern Colorado 7

Email Victor Flores at victor.flores@406mtsports.com and follow him on Twitter at @VictorFlores406

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