The Montana State Bobcats (10-2) head to Bowers Stadium to take on the Sam Houston Bearkats (11-0) for an FCS quarterfinal playoff matchup on Saturday night.
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The game (8:30 p.m. ET start time) isn’t on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Montana State vs Sam Houston live on ESPN+:
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Montana State vs Sam Houston Football 2021 Preview
SAMHOU is coming off a 49-42 win over Incarnate Word on December 4. Bearkats quarterback Eric Schmid completed 21 of 32 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown in the win, while running back Ramon Jefferson had a monster game, as well, rushing for 166 yards and two scores on 22 carries.
“We’ve won five playoff games this year by a play, and that’s just the nature of the playoffs,” Sam Houston head coach K.C. Keeler said this week, also including his team’s record during the 2020 FCS postseason in spring of 2020. “It speaks a lot to the resilience of our team, the character of our team, the fact that we don’t panic and our resolve.”
SAMHOU is averaging 42.4 points per game on offense, and they’re allowing 71.4 yards per game on the ground defensively. They will be going up against a Bobcats team that has turned the ball just six times this season, so something’s gotta give in this one.
“In the playoffs, it’s win and survive. Win and advance,” Keeler added. Indeed. The winner here will go to the FCS Championship semifinals next week.
On the other side, the Bobcats are fresh from a 26-7 win over Tennessee-Martin on December 4. Montana State QB Tommy Mellott threw for just 51 yards, but he rushed for another 181 and added two scores in the victory.
Montana State is averaging 28.9 points on offense while allowing 12.7 points on defense, and while it’s a big underdog in this game, it’s not going to play with that mindset.
“Our guys are confident that we can match up with anybody if we play well, and we’ve got to get ourselves in position to play well,” Bobcats head coach Brent Vigen said heading into the matchup. “Our guys are taking that approach each week, and we’ve got to do it again this week for sure.”
“At running back, they’re good,” Vigen added, referencing Jefferson. “We’ve got to be able to do everything we can to slow that run down and make it hard for them to throw. That’s been our formula all year and it will have to be against them.”
These two teams have met six times, with Sam Houston having the edge in the series, 4-2. SAMHOU has won the last three games against Montana State.