Bobcats Edge Vandals
BOZEMAN, MT. — David Ungerer scored a touchdown with 3:07 remaining, but the game-tying extra point attempt missed and Montana State held on to beat Idaho 24-23, Saturday at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman, Mont. The Vandals (2-4, 1-3 Big Sky) had the ball for more than 37 minutes and outgained the Bobcats (4-2, 2-1 Big Sky) 347-318, but two big plays helped Montana State score 17 points in the second half.
Ungerer led the Vandals with eight receptions and 70 yards, but it was a play with his feet that nearly brought Idaho back. On a third and six from the MSU nine, Mason Petrino handed the ball to wide receiver Jeff Cotton sprinting across the formation. Cotton flipped it to Ungerer who looked to throw back to Petrino in the end zone. Instead of forcing a throw into coverage, Ungerer tucked it and weaved through the middle of the field before diving across the goal line for a touchdown.
Isaiah Saunders ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Saunders scored twice in the first half, including a four-yard touchdown to finish the game’s opening drive. His six-yard score in the second quarter gave the Vandals a 14-7 lead, which they took into halftime.
Idaho struck first in the second half, too. The Vandal defense opened the third quarter with one of its five three-and-outs. The offense moved the ball to the MSU 20 before Cade Coffey drilled a 37-yard field goal to push Idaho’s lead to double digits.
MSU quarterback Troy Andersen – who had scored the Bobcats’ first touchdown on a 35-yard run – connected on a 37-yard pass down to the two-yard line. Running back Isaiah Ifanse punched it in on the next play.
Later in the third quarter, the Vandals were stopped on a fourth down attempt from the MSU 40. On the ensuing play, Andersen escaped the pocket and ran 60 yards to the end zone giving the Bobcats a 21-17 lead.
Petrino threw for 162 yards on 21-of-35 passing and ran for 51 more on nine carries. His lone turnover came on a fourth-quarter interception. The Bobcats took over in Idaho territory and were held to a 42-yard field goal that extended their lead to seven points.
Andersen rushed for 159 yards and passed for 91.
Kaden Elliss recorded the Vandals’ only sack of the day and knocked down two passes in the first quarter.
Idaho returns to the Kibbie Dome for Homecoming next week. The Vandals will take on Southern Utah at 2 p.m. PT.