It was a chilly November day in Bozeman Saturday night and the Bobcat's came out ice cold against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.
How cold were they? The Bobcat's offense ended the 1st quarter with -16 yards.
"It's kind of simple," said MSU quarterback DeNarius McGhee. "When you don't make good decisions and when you don't make the right decisions, especially in the passing game, it will cost you."
The Bobcats trailed 9-0 at the end of the first half and were shut out until the 3rd quarter. That is the longest it has taken MSU to score all season. The Bobcat's hung their heads at the end of the game as their playoff chances began fade away.
"We didn't execute," said McGhee. "A lot of my reads were off and it cost us in the end."
"We didn't execute as a group like we normally do," said MSU senior wide receiver Tanner Bleskin. "In the end it didn't work out."
The moment everyone was talking about after the game was the final play of the game. MSU, down 15-0 in the 3rd quarter clawed back to trail 22-14 with 11 seconds to go in the game and the ball in the red zone. The Bobcats had a play designed for Tanner Bleskin in the end zone. McGhee instead checked down to Chad Newell and he was tackled in the open field and the clocked ticked down to double zeroes.
"I should have just thrown it up to Tanner," said McGhee. "Just let him go and make a play. That's all on me man."
"The idea and everyone's thought process was to throw the ball to Tanner in the end zone," said MSU head coach Rob Ash. "Third down, if it didn't work we would probably have done it again. It's disappointing that we didn't get that done. We've got to communicate that so we could have had that chance. That's how I would've like to go down, throwing the ball to Tanner.
The Bobcats record now stands at 7-4 on the year. The Griz are 9-2 this season. with their win over MSU, Southern Utah's record now sits at 8-3. All three of these teams now have 5-2 Big Sky conference records.
Next weekend will be the regular season finale as the Bobcats host the Griz with a final opportunity to keep their playoff chances alive. Southern Utah will play Northern Arizona. The Bobcats will need to win their game against the Griz or they will not make the playoffs.