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Montana State wide receivers step up amidst injuries at running back

Derryk Snell lifts up Marqui Johnson.
Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-11 20:10:22-04

BOZEMAN — With Week 2 officially in the books, there was a lot that stood out in Saturday’s 63-13 win over Morehead State, but one group more than most, and that was their wide receivers.

The unit had to step up early after the Bobcats lost their fourth running back of the season to injury in Jared White, cycling in six different receivers against the Eagles.

“You never know who’s going to go down and you better be ready because you don’t want to get caught not ready," senior wide receiver Willie Patterson stated.

On their first two drives, the Bobcats ran nearly identical sweep plays to score Patterson and Clevan Thomas, but their contributions on the ground didn’t stop there.

Sacramento State transfer Marqui Johnson also got in on the action, rushing for 61 yards on four carries for two touchdowns.

“I think all those guys are more than capable of doing what they did and that was part of the plan regardless of Jared [White] going down, so they did a good job after they got those opportunities," head coach Brent Vigen said.

After a lack of productivity in the passing game last week, Vigen was excited to see Tommy Mellott’s progression in the pocket against Morehead State, throwing for a new career-high of 265 yards and two touchdowns.

“We completed the ball better with Tommy [Mellott]," Vigen added. "That was one thing we were definitely looking at, but I thought our receivers, you know, one thing that stood out to me is the run after the catch was great to see this afternoon.”

Tight end Treyton Pickering also had himself a day on Saturday leading all receivers with 98 yards on five catches.

"We had a tight end with 98 yards receiving," Vigen smiled. "That’s pretty damn good, so excited to see that. Keep getting these people off my back for not throwing to the tight end.”

Montana State hits the road to Portland next Saturday to close out non-conference play against Oregon State with kickoff set for 6 p.m. MT.