Montana State 2014 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Montana State Bobcats
Big Sky


This is a high scoring Montana State squad that can outscore just about anybody. They may have lost to Eastern Washington, but they still dropped 51 points on the Eagles. There will be some shootouts in the playoffs and the Bobcats can win those games.

2014 Record: 8-4, 6-2
Coach: Rob Ash

Big Wins: 10/4 at Sacramento State (59-56), 11/15 Idaho State (44-39)
Bad Losses: 9/20 Eastern Washington (51-52), 11/1 at Cal Poly (27-35)

Montana State has one of the most efficient offenses around. They do most of their damage on the ground where quarterback Dakota Prukop leads the way. He netted nearly1,000 yards on the ground. Touchdown vulture Anthony Knight, speedster Shawn Johnson and sophomore Gunnar Brekke are the main running backs. Between them and Prukop, Montana State has a top ten rushing offense. The passing attack is not nearly as prolific, but that is where Prukop’s efficiency comes into play. He has completed 67.0 percent of his attempts for 2,279 yards and 17 touchdowns, while throwing just six interceptions. Once the opposing defense creeps up a little too far into the box, Prukop can make them pay. Mitch Griebel and Tiai Salanoa are Prukop’s favorite targets, but Mitchell Herbert, Jayshawn Gates, Tanner Roderick and Justin Paige are the big play options.

The defense is going to give up points, but the lack of a consistent pass rush has not helped the secondary. The unit has given up nearly 300 yards per game and there are only a couple teams in the FCS that have allowed more yards through the air than that. To make matters worse, Montana State is not going to pick off many passes either. A team with a solid quarterback, like we’ve seen with Eastern Washington and Sacramento State, can pick this defense apart. That is what will put an end to Montana State’s playoff run and it may not take too long before it happens.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Dakota Prukop, QB, 932 yards
Passing: Dakota Prukop, QB, 2,279 yards
Receiving: Mitch Griebel, WR, 394 yards
Tackles: Alex Singleton, LB, 127
Sacks: Odin Coe, DL, 6.0
Interceptions: Eryon Barnett, CB, 2; Khari Garcia, DB, 2

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 256.9 (8th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 247.3 (32, 6)
Total Offense: 504.2 (6, 3)
Scoring Offense: 40.8 (6, 2)
Rushing Defense: 183.8 (81, 6)
Pass Defense: 296.2 (119, 13)
Total Defense: 480.0 (113, 11)
Scoring Defense: 32.0 (96, 9)
Turnover Margin: 0.09 (55, 6)
Sacks: 1.64 (86, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (57, 7)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2012    Second Round    Defeated Stony Brook
2012    Quarterfinals    Lost to Sam Houston State
2011    Second Round    Defeated New Hampshire
2011    Quarterfinals    Lost to Sam Houston State
2010    Second Round    Lost to North Dakota State
2006    First Round    Defeated Furman
2006    Quarterfinals    Lost to Appalachian State
2003    First Round    Lost to Northern Iowa
2002    First Round    Lost to McNeese State
1984    Quarterfinals    Defeated Arkansas State
1984    Semifinals    Defeated Rhode Island
1984    Championship    Defeated Louisiana Tech

*all team stats through 11/15


Playoff Central