FRISCO, Texas — Montana State quarterback Tommy Mellott experienced been an offensive dynamo throughout the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, sparking the Bobcats offense with his dual-risk ability in his to start with three profession starts off.
The redshirt freshman’s working day ended early Saturday at the FCS championship recreation, suffering a lower-leg personal injury on the game’s opening push. A hobbled Mellott experimented with to operate by the damage on the sideline, but hardly ever returned to the video game.
The Bison scored the game’s very first 35 details and cruised to a 38-10 victory ahead of 18,942 enthusiasts at Toyota Stadium.
Montana State turned to veteran QB Tucker Rovig, who experienced attempted only 5 passes prior to the championship recreation, but had massive-video game expertise. Rovig started out for the Bobcats in the 2019 FCS semifinals at Gate City Lender Area at the Fargodome.
“Tucker played in a large amount of online games, but you just preserve preventing,” stated Montana State head coach Brent Vigen, a former NDSU player and offensive coordinator. “You make it about 1 play, you make it about one particular collection. Our fellas saved likely right after it, we just didn’t have plenty of these days.”
Rovig accomplished 13 of 28 passes for 156 yards and one landing with a single interception in the title match. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Rovig also rushed for 51 yards on eight makes an attempt.
“I consider it absolutely transformed us, but it is the subsequent-person-up mentality,” Vigen stated. “That is Tucker’s initial real live bullets this season. He’s got a good deal of recreation practical experience in his previous. I imagined he went out there and competed really nicely.”
The 6-foot, 195-pound Mellott finished 2 of 3 passes for 23 yards and also rushed for 11 yards on 3 makes an attempt in his minimal participating in time. On television replays, it appeared Mellott experienced portion of his reduced leg roll in excess of following finding tackled by a Bison defender close to the end of MSU’s initial generate, which Mellott accomplished ahead of the Bobcats faked a industry purpose and punted the ball into the conclude zone.
“We were being confined to what we could do when managing on the perimeter, so that was tricky, but I believed that we overcame that,” MSU operating back again Isaiah Ifanse mentioned of not getting Mellott soon after the first push.
“They did not transform up their offensive recreation system barely at all,” explained Bison defensive conclusion Brayden Thomas. “So we held our script the exact same. We knew we essential to enjoy our ball. We retained it simple. We had to preserve participating in the way we performed the full year and not let a single guy alter our whole recreation strategy.”
Mellott, who took above as the Bobcats starter at the commencing of the playoffs, rushed for 411 yards and 6 touchdowns on 74 makes an attempt in MSU’s a few former postseason online games. He rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 34 attempts in the FCS semifinals from South Dakota Point out.
Mellott had also thrown for 449 yards and 4 touchdowns in all those prior 3 playoff victories.
“We performed versus No. 12 back again in 2019, so we experienced some information of the form of quarterback he was,” Bison linebacker Jackson Hankey stated of Rovig. “It was a lot a lot more completely ready to protect the tailback operate sport, prepared to defend more pass, some shots down the area. It was a minor little bit of a flip of mindset, but I feel we modified and dealt with it nicely.”
The Bobcats did not uncover the scoreboard till the next 50 percent soon after Blake Gessner kicked a 26-garden subject purpose to slash the Bison lead to 35-3 with 7 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The Bison rushed for 380 yards and four touchdowns on 53 makes an attempt. Montana Condition defensive back again Ty Okada reported the protection necessary to participate in far better no make any difference who was in at quarterback for the Bobcats.
“It does not adjust our position,” Okada claimed. “Our career is to go out there and get stops, which we did not do a good more than enough job of right now. Whoever is actively playing back there at quarterback, I have all the faith in the earth in Tucker, he’s led this staff prior to to large-time online games. … We didn’t do a great more than enough task on our part having care of business enterprise. It doesn’t actually have an affect on us. Our position is to preserve the other workforce from scoring. We didn’t do a very good sufficient position of that today.”
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