Montana State will travel to Grand Forks, N.D. to take on the University of North Dakota (UND) on Saturday Sept. 28. North Dakota is coming off of an upset by Montana where they found themselves down 17-55 at the end of the fourth quarter. MSU is looking to regain traction after falling to a 2-2 overall record, with both losses coming against Texas teams.
Last year, Montana State defeated UND 55-10 in Bozeman. Senior running back Cody Kirk ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the game and looks to continue adding to the school-record number of touchdowns in his final season wearing blue and gold.
UND redshirt freshman quarterback, Joe Mollberg, looks to return and bring back the pass-happy team that recorded a total of 3268 yards ast season. North Dakota runs a spread offense, the same strategy that ripped MSU apart in the Stephen F. Austin game last Saturday Sept. 21. If Montana State can lock down the midfield and backfields, the yardage should be fairly easy to contain.
With MSU sophomore quarterback Jake Bleskin still getting a grasp on starting for the Bobcats, I believe the way to easy first downs will be to hand the ball off to running backs Shaun Johnson or Kirk, who both know how to exploit the small holes in the defense. Lately the running game has been lacking; however both Kirk and Johnson have had excellent starts to the season.
If MSU keeps its rock-solid line defense up to par and can stop UND from having a passing game, MSU should have no problem sliding by. With the way the Bobcats have been playing the last couple of weeks, I do not predict a blowout. I predict a score of 24-21 with MSU scoring in the last few minutes of play to take the lead.
Wide receivers: Tanner Bleskin (MSU) vs. Kenny Golladay (UND)
MSU – Great Falls, Mont.
UND – Chicago, Ill.
Career Games Played
MSU – 41
UND – 2
Career Receiving Yards:
MSU – 2,011
UND – 604
UND – 43
MSU – 12
MSU: Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-American second team, second team All-Big Sky receiver, ROOT Sports Big Sky Player of the Week, two-time FCS/ADA Academic All-Star, two-time Academic All-Big Sky, Hayden Ferguson Academic Award winner, Honorable Mention All-Big Sky honors (2010)
UND: First team Blue Division All-Catholic League honors (HS)