Saturday, November 05, 2011

WSU Game Day Thread: Weber State v. Montana State

For the first time in years, the Wildcats are out of playoff contention; so this go-round they'll simple be playing the game for pride... and respect

The Weber State Wildcats are back home this afternoon, facing Big Sky Conference powerhouse Montana State University in Stewart Stadium. For the first time in years, the Wildcats are out of playoff contention; so this go-round they'll simple be playing the game for pride (and respect) this afternoon, hoping to "spoil" the Montana State Bobcats' seemingly certain march toward a conference championship and a FCS playoff berth. The Standard carries the pre-game story this morning. Here's the lede:
OGDEN -- A young bobcat who strolled through a local neighborhood last Saturday was quickly captured by the Division of Wildlife Resources, but there will be no DWR officers on hand at Stewart Stadium to help out the Weber State football team today.

The Wildcats are on their own as the No. 2 ranked Montana State Bobcats stroll into town for a 1:30 p.m. contest.

Montana State (8-1, 6-0 Big Sky) is undefeated in conference play and gearing up for a championship showdown with cross-state rival Montana and a run in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, while Weber State (3-5, 3-2 Big Sky) is out of the playoff chase and looking to play the spoiler's role.
Read the full SE story here:
And how are they viewing the prospects of today's gridiron battle up in Bobcats Country? Read this morning's Bozeman Daily Chronicle story get the drift:
Yep, Bobcats Coach Rob Ash definitely "gets it":
"I'm very concerned that (Weber State) will come out and play a great game because that's usually what happens in football," said MSU's fifth-year head coach. "Teams underachieve, don't perform the way they want to, work on it all week and get refocused. It was definitely an uncharacteristic performance for them. We've watched them all year and they've had some great smack-down wins so we expect them to come back and do that again this week."
Moreover, now that the `Cats' championship and post-season playoff hopes have been dashed, the Bobcats expect that Coach Mac will have the WSU squad whipped into a real frenzy. The ever-quotable Coach Mac minces no words about it:

What, if anything, can a team build on after suffering through a 45-10 pummeling? Weber State head coach Ron McBride hopes last week's humbling loss suffered by his Wildcats at the hands of No. 10 Montana was an eye-opening experience.

"Last week was an embarrassment to our program, an embarrassment to college football," McBride said. "It wasn't well-played and Montana played extremely well. The motivation it gives you is obviously you better get off your ass and start doing what you are supposed to do. Nobody gives you a right of passage in this world."

Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. We hope that winter-immune Wildcat fans will pack Stewart Stadium, despite the weather forecast. Remember, folks, this is what (in winter climes such as ours) they call "football weather":

Alternatively, the game's available in online audio via KZNS (1280 The Zone). And (wonder of wonders) the video broadcast can be viewed on the Altitude Network (ALT), (Channel 61 on Comcast Cable and channel 410 on the Dish Network). Here's a the WSU Athletics Twitter feed by the way, for those WSU fans who might be tempted to bounce back and forth between some of the other attractive college games which will also be broadcast this wintry Saturday afternoon during the 1:30 p.m. time slot.

So now that WSU has its starting quarterback back, and the pressure's off to win that ever-elusive Big Sky Championship, will the players on Coach Mac's gridiron squad have the moxie pull of an upset of the the nationally No. 2 ranked Montana State Bobcats? Turning back to the above linked Bozeman Chronicle: for a "pithy quote," we find this, which indicates that at least one WSU football player has his "helmet on straight":
"Being my senior year, knocking the No. 2 in the nation, there wouldn't be anything bigger than that," said Weber senior offensive guard J.C. Oram, a three-time All-Big Sky selection and a 2010 All-America pick. "We just have to go do it. Enough talking about it. We talk about beating Montana, we talk about beating Eastern Washington. We can't talk about it anymore; we just have to go do it."
J.C. Oram "talks the talk." We'll soon find out whether he and the rest of his WSU team-mates can actually "walk the walk," won't we?

Once again, kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.

Go Wildcats!

Update 11/6/11 8:00 a.m.: The `Cats get whacked by a final score of 44-24, after taking a "snooze" during the 3d and 4th quarter and blowing a 24-20 halftime lead:
Adding insult to injury, Coach Mac gets right into the spirit of the fray with a knee injury (which fortunately will not end his season):
Dang! Double Dang!

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