By Zach Walker
Even though the Mustangs lost their opener against Texas Tech, there were bright spots. Garrett Gilbert was excellent working the middle of the field and spreading the ball looked almost easy, hitting nine different receivers during the game, two receivers having 10+ receptions and 100+ yards. Gilbert showed his wheels when he had to cut and run, but the Mustangs have to get their running game going, which might have been dealt a serious blow if running back Traylon Shead has to miss multiple games with a knee injury that he suffered during a penalty horse collar tackle against Texas Tech. Prescott Line, Zach Line’s younger brother, filled in after the injury to Shead and got a touchdown negating penalty and a 2-yard touchdown run. Jeremy Johnson and Darius Joseph really had great performances against the Red Raiders. As for the defense, Beau Barnes showed a relentless streak against the Tech offensive line. Stephon Sanders was all over the field and right where the action was. I can’t recall if linebacker Randall Joyner ever returned to the field after being injured, hopefully he’ll be back. And the safeties Jay Scott and Hayden Greenbauer both had high tackle totals and didn’t really allow much to go past them. Finally, Kenneth Acker showed poise and wasn’t tested often and came up to make plays behind the line of scrimmage and had a couple of impressive pass breakups.
Needless to say only hardcore, and I’m talking hardcore, college football fans are going to know any of the players on this Montana State football team, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t players you should know about. Running back Shawn Johnson had 109 yards rushing on five carries, including a 90 yard rush. Wide receiver Tanner Bleskin had a seven catch, 121 yard game against Monmouth College. Defensive end Brad Daly had a sack, four tackles for loss and forced a fumble. All these excellent stats being tossed around, SMU should win this game.
Matchup of the Game: The SMU Run game VS Montana State Defense: This is a game SMU should win, and win big. That’s how college football is, when FCS schools play FBS schools, the FBS schools ought to roll. And when you’re rolling, you run the ball. It’ll probably be the first we’ll get to see Prescott Line in extended game action. It’ll be interesting to see if he has the same running style as his brother.
Prediction: Montana State 17 SMU 52
Montana State vs SMU
Saturday – September 7 – 7 PM
Gerald Ford Stadium