Montana State rocks UNDBOZEMAN, Mont. — A week ago, the University of North Dakota was on a Rocky Mountain high after beating Montana in a record-setting fashion.
By: Wayne Nelson, The Dickinson Press
BOZEMAN, Mont. — A week ago, the University of North Dakota was on a Rocky Mountain high after beating Montana in a record-setting fashion.
What a difference a week makes in the Big Sky Conference.
It was nothing more than a Rocky Mountain sigh for UND on Saturday — after No. 4 Montana State turned in a record-setting performance of its own as the Bobcats did everything it wanted in a 55-10 demolishing of North Dakota before 17,137 fans at Bobcat Stadium.
“We got our rear ends kicked today,” UND coach Chris Mussman said. “I think they’re the best team we’ve played this year. We knew we had to play a perfect game. We needed to get breaks from them and we didn’t get any. Give them credit. They didn’t make mistakes.”
And UND made plenty — on both sides of the ball.
Montana State (7-1, 4-1 Big Sky) rolled up a single-game school record 695 yards of offense. The Bobcats, led by junior quarterback Darius McGhee, rushed for 436 yards and passed for 259. UND’s lone bright spot came on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Braden Hanson to Greg Hardin, which tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter.
Cody Kirk, who rushed for 160 yards, scored on Montana State’s next possession. The rout was on.
Montana State led 28-7 at halftime as the Bobcats had 357 of their yards at halftime. The Bobcats simply kept rolling in the final two quarters.
How bad was it for UND?
On offense, UND (4-5, 2-4 Big Sky) gave up nearly as many quarterback sacks (eight) as it had first downs (nine). On defense, UND gave up 40 first downs — 24 on the ground.
“It didn’t feel too good,” said UND senior running back Mitch Sutton. “I don’t know what happened out there. We couldn’t get a stop and our offense struggled.”
After gaining a school-record 702 yards against Montana last week at the Alerus Center, UND managed a meager 180 against the Bobcats.
But the Bobcats have the top defense in the Big Sky. Its speed caused UND problems all day.
“We didn’t have the explosive plays we had last week,” said UND quarterback Braden Hanson, who threw for 660 yards a week ago. “That hurt us. But you have to give them credit. They have the speed and they’re talented. Those guys are really good on defense. We just didn’t get the job done.”
Hanson took a beating, too. He was sacked seven times — including back-to-back-to-back sacks late in the game.
After Kirk’s early score put the Bobcats up 14-7, Montana State put the pedal to the metal. Kirk scored early in the second quarter for a 21-7 lead and Orenzo Davis’ 19-yard scoring run with 3:04 left in the first half put the Bobcats up 28-7. Montana State didn’t strike quick, either. The Bobcats were methodical in their scoring drives, rushing and passing with ease.
“We didn’t play aggressive enough on defense,” said UND linebacker Cordero Finley, who finished with a team-high nine tackles. “We had a lot of missed tackled. If you don’t play good against the No. 4 team in the country, that’s what happens.”
UND finished with only 15 rushing yards and North Dakota’s electric passing game of a week ago was unplugged by the Bobcats’ defense.
“By far, this is the most complete game we’ve played,” Montana State coach Rob Ash said.
UND 7 0 3 0 — 10
MSU 14 14 7 20 — 55
MSU–Shawn Johnson 41 pass from DeNarius McGhee (Rory Perez kick), 7:54
UND–Greg Hardin 17 pass from Braden Hanson (Zeb Miller kick), 6:35
MSU–Cody Kirk 3 run (Perez kick), 2:30
MSU–Kirk 1 run (Perez kick), 13:32
MSU–Orenzo Davis 19 run (Perez kick), 3:04
MSU–Lee Perkins 9 pass from McGhee (Perez kick), 10:48
UND–Miller 40 FG, 4:32
MSU–Kirk 10 run (Perez kick), 14:23
MSU–Jon Ellis 1 pass from McGhee (Perez kick), 9:45
MSU–Daviz 17 run (kick failed, 1:46.
TEAM STATISTICS UND MSU
First downs 9 40
Rushes-yards 25-15 62-436
Passing yards 165 259
Comp.-Att.-Int. 15-28-0 24-32-0
Total yards 180 695
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-57 4-25
Punts-Avg. 10-43.9 2-36.5
Time of possession 24:56 35:04
RUSHING: UND, Jake Miller 5-14, Mitch Sutton 4-13, Marcus Hendrickson 3-10, Jer Garman 3-0, Hanson 10-(minus-22). MSU, Kirk 25-160, Davis 19-145, McGhee 7-27, Johnson 6-70, Tray Robinson 3-13, Trevor Bolton 1-23.
PASSING: UND, Hanson 15-26-0 165, Hendrickson 0-2-0 0. MSU, McGhee 24-32-0 259.
RECEIVING: UND, Kenny Golladay 4-83, Hardin 3-45, Sutton 3-16, Blair Townsend 2-11, Jameer Jackson 2-10, Miller 1-0. MSU, Ellis 7-49, Tanner Bleskin 4-60, B. Flotkoetter 4-47, Kruiz Siewing 3-37, Johnson 2-40, Perkins 2-16, Chase Young 1-9, Robinson 1-1.