BOZEMAN — With only days left until the FCS Championship, the reality is setting in for several Montana State seniors that Saturday will mark their final ride with the Bobcats donning the blue and gold.
“It’s a little weird having one more game - that being my last one for sure, but it’s the one you want," senior linebacker Troy Andersen said with a smile. "It’s the one you want to be in, and it’s the one you want to kind of end your career on. Everything’s on the table for this one.”
It’s safe to say this year’s senior class has had quite the wild ride — a pandemic, canceled fall and spring seasons, and a new head coach — but through it all, the opportunity for a storybook ending.
“To be growing up as a Bobcat fan and then now you get on the team, and now we’ve set ourselves up for an opportunity to go accomplish something that hasn’t been done in 37 years is a pretty surreal opportunity when you take a step back from it," wide receiver Lance McCutcheon said.
Taking a step back is what many of the seniors have been doing this week, reminding themselves to pause and let some of these last few memories really sink in.
“We’ve been stressing it since we got to playoffs this year is that any week could be our last, so just take a second - take a look around - just embrace it all and kind of understand that it’s all going to come to an end at some point for everybody, and that could be this week and just be grateful for where you’re at," defensive end Amandre Williams said.
“After the South Dakota State game, everybody kind of stormed the field, and I didn’t really know what to do with myself," tight end Ryan Davis recalled. "I was excited, obviously, but I just kind of stopped and took a look around Bobcat Stadium because I knew that would be the last time I saw that thing full on top of the turf.”
What this group of seniors has been able to accomplish since many of them joined in 2016 will go down in the history books — from finishing their freshman year with a 4-7 record to now — just one win away from a national championship.
“To be able to have the opportunity to spend that with my teammates, my friends - my best friends - my brothers is truly a blessing," offensive lineman Lewis Kidd said.
“I don’t know if it’s quite hit me yet that this whole thing is coming to an end," Davis said. "I’m hoping it hits me in a really good way there on Saturday.”
The FCS National Championship against North Dakota State will kick off at 10 a.m. Mountain time on ESPN2.