Cats scorch UC Davis

The Montana State Bobcats beat down the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, scoring 11 touchdowns on their way to a 77-37 win. The Cats traveled to California for the second time in as many weeks and apparently forgot to take their defense with them again. Not that it mattered much though as the Cats’ offense was nothing short of unstoppable. Sophomore phenom quarterback Dakota Prukop continued his amazing run of offensive performances, garnering over 500 yards of individual total offense while tossing four touchdowns and rushing for another two.

Initially, it looked to be a low scoring, possession-based contest like many predicted, but by the end of the first quarter, those predictions were proven wrong. The Bobcats scored twice in the quarter, storming down the field on a long sustained drive and then shredding the Aggies through the air on the other, covering 77 yards in just two plays with a 75 yard connection between Prukop and freshman receiver Justin Paige.

Up 14-10 to start, the second quarter was all Montana State. Prukop air mailed another touchdown pass, this time a 56-yard toss to freshman Jayshawn Gates. The Cats followed that scoring drive up with two more: a three yard scoring rush from three yards out from Prukop and an 11-yarder from senior Shawn Johnson. The defense managed to bend but not break in the quarter and the Bobcats went into the locker room up 37-10 at the half.

However, for the second half, it looked like neither defense bothered to come back out as the game devolved into a videogame. Neither offense could be stopped or even slowed down as both the Aggies and the Bobcats strung together long scoring drive after long scoring drive. The Aggies, led by sophomore quarterback Ben Scott, started off the second half with a 98-yard drive. Scott, who had never started a Big Sky Conference game in his young career, went off for 379 yards passing and 72 yards rushing in the game.

Luckily for the Cats, UC Davis had no answer for the MSU offensive onslaught, so the Aggies were never able to close the gap on the Cats. The game was all but over at the end of the third quarter, when senior Bobcat cornerback Deonte Flowers returned an interception for a touchdown and killed any comeback momentum the Aggies had.

The closing quarter was mostly backup duty, but even the backups were able to score for the Bobcats. Junior backup quarterback Jake Bleskin threw his first touchdown of the year and freshman running back Nick LaSane scored to put MSU up 77-37.

“We’re going to take each game the same way we always do, which is that we’ve got to score more than the other team,” Bobcat Head Coach Rob Ash said. “If it’s a low scoring game, then the defense will keep the points down and we’ll keep control of the ball to take sure we have more points. If it’s a high scoring game, then we’ll open it wide open and score more points than they do.”

The win puts the Cats at 5-2 on the season and 3-0 in the Big Sky Conference. While the offense was stellar, tallying a massive 737 total yards, the Bobcat defense remains less so, allowing the normally slow paced Aggie offense to gain 610 total yards of their own. MSU returns home this weekend to face off against the winless Weber State Wildcats. Though the Wildcats have yet to win a game, they’ve been competitive in nearly every game, losing their last two games by a combined total of only nine points. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. in Bobcat Stadium.