BOZEMAN — Taryn Christion ran for two touchdowns and South Dakota needed a trick play to hold off Montana State, 31-27 on Saturday night.
The Jackrabbits built a 17-0 lead, but Murray, who fired four touchdown passes, brought the Bobcats back to trail by just three, 24-21 after three quarters.
With 4:26 left South Dakota State opted for a fake field goal and kicker Chase Vinatieri ran 31 yards for a touchdown to make it a 31-21 lead.
“We didn’t escape,” SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. “We were ready to win and we responded.”
Montana State (0-2) scored to cut the South Dakota State lead to four points and the Bobcats got the ball with 50 seconds only to see time expire.
“I’m angry and disappointed ,” MSU coach Jeff Choate said. “We put ourselves in a position to win the game and didn’t accomplish that.”
MSU missed two field goals and threw and interception in the end zone. The Bobcats also saw a would-be go-ahead touchdown pass called back for holding, which led to a missed field goal.
MSU’s Mac Bignell forced a fumbled with 1:47 to play after the Bobcats just missed recovering an on-side kick, but SDSU running back Brady Mengarelli recovered.
Christion was 25 of 33 passing for 267 yards and added a team-high 57 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Murray completed 23 of 42 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns. He collected 107 yards on 17 carries rushing to lead Montana State on the ground.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: The Jackrabbits host Drake next in their final non-conference game.
MONTANA STATE: The Bobcats have an open date to prepare for a road game against reigning Big Sky champion North Dakota (1-1).
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: The Jackrabbits continued their prowess on special teams. Along with Vinatieri’s TD run the Jackrabbits got a blocked extra point.
MONTANA STATE: The Bobcats made up for its poor play on first down with a nine for 16 showing on third downs and three for three on fourth downs.