CATS IN CAMP DAY 5: Four Bobcats Land HERO Sports All-America Honors, While Team ‘Stacks Days’ in Install Mode – Bobcats Athletics
Football Bill Lamberty
MSU shows aptitude running the ball and stopping the run
August 11, 2021: A day-by-day look at Bobcat football, today and throughout history, beginning with the inclusion of four Bobcats on the HERO Sports All-America team and rolling right through MSU’s 2021 television schedule (as of August 11)…
BOBCAT DAILY NOTEBOOK
HERO SPORTS ALL-AMERICA TEAM: Montana State landed players on the HERO Sports FCS All-America Team, announced Wednesday morning. Linebacker Troy Andersen and defensive end Amandre Williams each find themselves on the second team, while running back Isaiah Ifanse and offensive lineman Lewis Kidd each earned third team honors. The full HERO release is here.
STACKING UP DAYS: Bobcat coach Brent Vigen likes the progress he saw during his team’s fifth practice, saying the groundwork was laid during the summer months. “Putting another day forward, stacking up another day. I continue to praise our conditioning level, the ability to look pretty similar the last five minutes as we do the first five minutes of team. That’s the marker, we’re still running the football, we’re not letting our conditioning level take over.”
INSTALLATION: Bobcat coach Brent Vigen said this week is the most intensive period for installing the team’s offensive and defensive schemes that it faces during the preseason. “You generally get a few things in the first two days, your base, and then this week is the one week where really it piles up on itself. Then by the end of this week we’re pretty well through our installation.”
EXECUTION: MSU Coach Brent Vigen said periods of heavy installation of scheme can affect physical performance, but if the mental approach remains constant he’s pleased. “As we move through this week we’re adding on quite a bit every day, whether that’s more offense, more defense, more situations,” he said. “You’re getting some things for the first time so the execution’s a work in progress, that’s just the nature of this week, but I like our attention to detail and our effort, that’s for sure.”
WELL GROUNDED: While measuring success in preseason camp is a tricky thing, Vigen likes the play he’s seen on both sides at the line of scrimmage in the running game. “That’s two-sided, right, our ability to run the football and our ability to stop the run,” he said. “You can certainly look at where movement or lack thereof from an offense vs. defense perspective, (evaluate) how that looks. Are our back seeing what they’re supposed to see? I do think we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were in the spring as far as our discipline on our tracks and our ball security and those types of things. But we haven’t tackled yet, we haven’t done anything like that. That ultimately becomes your greatest measure, when there’s an outcome to each particular run. But I think the good thing right now is that we’re full strength on both sides. It’s good on good. We didn’t always have that luxury in the spring. It’s give-and-take, not a one-sided affair. The offense makes some plays, the defense makes some plays, and with a good team that’s usually the mark as you go through fall camp. It’s back and forth.”
TV TALK: Television assignments and streaming information for most of Montana State’s games have been finalized, according to the Big Sky Conference: September 4 at Wyoming – TV TBA, streaming TBA; September 11 vs. Drake – SWX TV, ESPN+; September 18 vs. San Diego – SWX TV, ESPN+; September 25 at Portland State – TBA, ESPN+; October 2 vs. Northern Colorado – SWX TV, ESPN+; October 9 vs. Cal Poly – ROOT, TBA; October 15 at Weber State – ESPNU, WatchESPN.com; October 23 vs. Idaho State – SWX TV, ESPN+; November 6 at Eastern Washington – SWX TV, ESPN+; November 13 vs. Idaho – SWX TV, ESPN+; November 20 at Montana – ROOT, TBA.
August 11 in Bobcat Football History
2018 – Montana State’s first scrimmage provided some strong foreshadowing, when “Troy Andersen and Travis Jonsen each posted solid numbers at multiple positions…” Fast forward a couple of years, and Jonsen has a Super Bowl ring as a practice squad player with Tampa Bay last February and is presently battling for a spot on this year’s team. He has been singled out by Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht, head coach Bruce Arians, and several assistants for his work to this point. For his point, Andersen earned First Team All-Big Sky and All-America honors at quarterback in 2018, was an All-America linebacker in 2019, and enters 2021 as possibly the top linebacker in at least the FCS. 2015 – The first full-pad practice of preseason camp came without running backs Chad Newell and Gunnar Brekke, who were missing because of injuries. Newell eventually led the Bobcats in rushing that season (831 yards) while Brekke was third (293 yards). 2013 – Today in 2013, MSU’s football season tickets sold out at the earliest point in school history.
2021 POSITION PREVIEW
Wide Receiver – Montana State may be re-tooling the receiver position after a 2019 season that featured two of the most dynamic playmakers in the Big Sky, Kevin Kassis and Travis Jonsen, but MSU coaches remain adamant that seasoning is the only necessary ingredient to extending the run of success. Lance McCutcheon returns as the team’s most experienced pass-catcher, but the slot tandem of Coy Steel and Willie Patterson is also a staple of the pass game. Transfers Nate Stewart and Cam Gardner each appear ready to contribute as outside receivers, while Peyton Hanser and Logan Kleinhans are veterans seeking expanded roles.
Starters Returning: Lance McCutcheon, Coy Steel. Other Returning Lettermen: Peyton Hanser, Logan Kleinhans, Willie Patterson. Squad Member: Tayvian Williams. Redshirts: Charles Brown, Aidan Garrigan, Jamahd Monroe, Jaden Smith, Nate Stewart, Tanner Trafton. Incoming Transfer: Cam Gardner. Incoming Freshmen: Andrew Patterson. Starters Lost: Travis Jonsen, Kevin Kassis. Other Lettermen Lost: John D’Agostino