BOZEMAN — DeNarius McGhee completed 10 of 13 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the first half leading Montana State to a 34-17 win over UC Davis Saturday.
Cody Kirk went over the 3,000 yard mark for career rushing and scored twice for the Bobcats (6-2, 4-0 Big Sky). He finished with 119 yards on 20 carries.
McGhee finished the day 15 of 20 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“DeNarius McGhee is a tremendous young man and a winner,” UC Davis head coach Ron Gould said. “He’ll definitely get my vote for offensive player of the year. As good as he is on the field he’s ten times that as a person.”
After Brady Stuart’s 29-yard field goal put UC Davis (3-2, 3-6) on the board in the second quarter, Gabe Manzanares capped off the Aggies’ following drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to make it 14-10 with 1:57 to play in the half.
MSU wasted no time answering, however, as it drove 70 yards, keyed by a 45-yard pass from McGhee to running back Shawn Johnson. Kirk rolled in from the three with just :42 to play in the half, propelling MSU to a 21-10 halftime lead.
“That was huge,” MSU head coach Rob Ash said of the touchdown to end the half. “Johnson is a tough matchup for people with his speed as a true running back.”
Johnson also had a 47-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter as he piled up 172 all-purpose yards — 92 receiving, 23 rushing and 57 on returns — in the first half.
Jon Ellis scored for MSU late in the third quarter on a reverse from 12 yards out and Kirk added his second midway through the fourth quarter.
MSU defensive end Brad Daly added two sacks to his FCS-leading total and now has 12. He also leads the FCS with 17 tackles for loss.
“It’s fun playing with Brad,” Preston Gale, who holds down the other defensive end spot for MSU, said. “He looks like he’s done and he’s down, but it’s like someone shoots him with an arrow and he starts coming off the edge again.”
Manazares totaled 179 yards rushing on 27 carries for the Aggies. Quarterback Randy Wright finished the game 23 of 33 for 159 yards and one touchdown.
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