Photos and story by Mike Coil Explore Big Sky Contributor
After two weeks on the road, the Bobcats’ den is waiting.
The Montana State University Bobcats (3-2, 1-0) will host Northern Arizona at 2:05 p.m. for their homecoming on Oct. 5.
The Cats are coming off of an impressive 63-20 trouncing of North Dakota last week and were thrilled to have their starting quarterback DeNarius McGhee back in the lineup. McGhee was injured in the closing seconds of MSU’s game against Southern Methodist on Sept. 21, and was not expected to return for six weeks.
McGhee made a miraculous recovery as he threw for 194 yards on 13 of 18 completed passes versus North Dakota. The All-American shared the quarterback duties with Jake Bleskin and Joe Molberg, playing only part of the game to test out his repaired throwing arm.
Northern Arizona (3-1, 1-0) comes to town after thrashing the University of Montana 34-16 last week. The Lumberjacks have won three in a row after losing their opener to the University of Arizona, 34-0. Northern Arizona’s senior running back Zach Bauman has been putting up big numbers for his squad including 118 rushing yards against the Grizzlies, and MSU has been looking at options to corral him and his running game. During their last meeting in Bozeman in 2011, Bauman was held to just 37 yards.
In preparation for Saturday’s game the Cats have been polishing their own running game, which finally came alive against North Dakota with 332 yards on the ground.
MSU and the Bozeman community have a full array of homecoming activities during homecoming week, including decorating the dorms and downtown businesses, a barbecue on the campus’ Centennial Mall on Wednesday, a bonfire at the field house parking lot on Thursday, a downtown pep rally on Friday, and the homecoming parade on Main Street at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised live on Max Media.