New faces on defense becoming stars for Bobcats
Montana State's defense had big question marks heading into this season after losing two senior linebackers before the season even began.
Na'a Moeakiola and Aleksei Grosulak were the two seniors that fell in the pre-season. Na'a's shoulder needed surgery and Aleksei, who had suffered numerous shoulder and knee injuries, retired. The Bobcats are 4-2 on the season but looking back even Rob Ash had concerns entering the year.
"With Na'a and Aleksei Grosulak being out for the season, that was a devastating blow to our team early," said Ash.
However Ash gave fans hope as a new era of linebackers entered the starting role for the blue and gold.
"The guys that have stepped in, Michael Foster, Alex Singleton and Cole Moore have done an excellent job. I've got all the confidence in the world in those guys."
The confidence was well placed. Fans knew the names of the stars on offense with seniors Cody Kirk, Tanner Bleskin and of course DeNarius McGhee. Now these young men have cemented their place as stars on the defense and they know what got them there.
"Winning," said junior linebacker Alex Singleton. "It's in our blood here at Montana state. Winning is what we do and what we should do."
The linebackers have put up outstanding number thus far. Singleton has recorded 49 tackles and 3 interceptions. Cole Moore has 38 tackles along with 2 interceptions and adding to the strong defense, Michael Foster has 22 tackles of his own.
"Cole Moore was anxious to go out this season and prove that he could be a full time, every down linebacker," said MSU linebacker coach Kane Ioane. "Michael Foster made the transition from a special teams guy. He's gaining confidence as far as being a play-maker for this team."
The off-season concerns are long forgotten and these men now set their sights on Weber as they hope to continue their incredible season.
"I was in all week watching film just on Weber," Singleton said. "There is no game besides Weber going on right now."
"Preparation is huge for those guys," said Ioane. "Just understanding what offenses are trying to do against us. They're able to anticipate route concepts and read, react and execute."