BOZEMAN — In the first week of Big Sky Conference play, a winless NAU upset the No. 13 Griz, No. 7 Idaho would hold on and beat No. 4 Sacramento State, and an unranked Eastern Washington would beat No. 15 UC Davis.
In a day where most "favorites" saw trouble, there's one that didn't waver — despite having their own top-10 matchup on the road to start their conference play. In fact, they dominated.
That would be the No. 3 Montana State Bobcats who shut out No. 10 Weber State, winning 40-0.
“The standard doesn’t drop," Bobcats defensive end Ben Seymour said, describing how the team has a next-man-up mentality. "Just whoever’s in, whether it’s the first guy, second guy, third guy, the standard doesn’t drop. We play to a high level, and whoever’s out there, they play 'Bobcat Built' football. The key to having a shutout, maintaining a shutout is having guys who know their job and do their job out there.”
Bobcats coach Brent Vigen reflected postgame on how strong this Weber State team is and how the Bobcats were able to shut them out despite that.
“It’s a good team right there, I think," he said. "When you have a defense that can allow you to, kind of, move along offensively and figure some things out, you can do what we did (Saturday). You know, if the defense gives up some points early, then that patience is a little bit different.”
It’s a game where everyone did their job and everyone stepped up to the plate.
The Bobcats put just under 350 rushing yards on the gridiron. Running back Julius Davis had 133 yards, and Sean Chambers had 114 and two rushing touchdowns.
But it’s a selfless type of team, and Chambers credited his offensive line more than anything for their ability to dominate the run game.
“Once again, those guys were great," he said of his offensive line. "Those guys play well together. Those five are, I don’t know, are like five superheroes up there and they play well. They play like one cohesive unit, and it’s fun being behind them.”
But the Bobcats came into this season also wanting to show they can throw the ball, which was proven with Chambers connecting twice with tight end Treyton Pickering for two of his own touchdowns against the Wildcats.
“It’s awesome," Chambers said referring to Pickering's game. "He did a hell of a job, those two routes were great — lulled them to sleep there and then sprinted out of there. You know, luckily enough, or gratefully enough, the O-line gave me enough time because those are longer developing plays and kind of put it where he can go get it so. Proud of him.”
On the other end of the ball, the Bobcats' defense shut out Weber State, not an easy feat by any means. The Wildcats have had many games to flex their own explosive offense and return game, but it perished against MSU.
“To negate their return game, you know, (Abraham Williams is) so explosive, so explosive, and I’m sure they count on that as part of their production," Vigen said. "I mean, Brendan (Hall) was putting that thing in the parking lot almost. So when you take that piece out of their game, you’re doing something. And then, defensively, I just think we can do more this year, I do. And I think the guys are really believing in what we’re doing and doing it at a fast rate.”
Seymour reflected on not just what this win meant to their team, but what it showed the rest of the teams in the conference.
“Definitely coming in their house, and giving them a shutout, and scoring 40 on them, is a huge thing, and we wanted to send a message to the Big Sky," he said.
That they did.
Up next for the Bobcats, they'll have Portland State back at home on Saturday for a 2 p.m. kickoff. The 2-2 Vikings are coming off of a 59-21 win over Cal Poly.