Published on September 22nd, 2017 | by Hot Take Nate
It’s Time for THE Win
Jeff Choate has been at the helm of the Montana State football program for thirteen games and has come out victorious in four. Of those four victories, one was a win over a Division II team and two were against FCS teams with losing records. I’m sure most people remember the fourth win, but more on that in a bit.
I’m definitely not here to complain about the lack of victories. Every Bobcat fan, no matter how optimistic, knew that 2016 was a rebuilding year for the program after losing their star quarterback to Oregon and the overdue firing of Rob Ash. With each victory in 2016, it was a step in the right direction – advancement in Jeff Choate’s vision but it wasn’t THE win.
So Close in 2016
The thing about 2016 was how close the Bobcats were to getting THE win that would jump start their momentum and get the team believing they could beat anyone in the Big Sky. Everyone knows by now that the Bobcats lost to Idaho, North Dakota, Sacramento State, and Northern Arizona by a combined total of 14 points to begin the season. They were so close to establishing their footing and gaining much needed confidence. All four of those games could have gone the Bobcats way and changed the whole trajectory of the 2016 season. They needed something, anything, to go their way and give their young squad a spark. A win in the last game of the year against the Grizzlies last November was an amazing victory for the program but it wasn’t THE win that would take the Cats to the next level. Again, don’t get me wrong, it is one of my favorite Cat victories of all time but it wasn’t the one we desperately needed all season.
It’s Time in 2017
Two weeks ago, MSU lost a heart-breaker to #4 South Dakota State by four points. A game that many Cat fans weren’t super confident going into after getting shut out by Washington State, it ended up being a game they should have won. This was a game that could have announced to the Big Sky that the Bobcats were back. Choate knew it when he said after the game, “It was an opportunity for us to really have a program-defining win.” It was THE win the Bobcats needed.
Fast forward to this weekend as the Bobcats head to North Dakota for the first conference game of the year. This is the game they have to win. This is THE win they need. This is the win that could change the trajectory of the season and the program under Choate. There isn’t a Bobcat fan that hasn’t counted down the days to this Saturday since the SDSU game because they got a taste of what this team could be. Montana State got a lot of fans’ attention after matching the Jackrabbits blow for blow and a follow up performance and win against the preseason favorite Fighting Hawks would create more in-season momentum for MSU than any point I can remember in the past three or four years.
This weekend it is time – it is time for the Bobcats to get THE win that we’ve been waiting for since the Choate era began. It’s time to get THE win that the Cats have been so close to getting before and the one that lets everyone know that the Bobcats aren’t rebuilding anymore.