GREAT FALLS — Montana State used its scrimmage to evaluate offensive position battles further down the depth chart and give the defense a chance to hit and tackle in game-like situations.
“It was a hard-hitting scrimmage and early the offense had their way,” coach Rob Ash said. “But there was only one touchdown scored in 82 plays. That’s not too bad. There were some good fourth-down stops. I thought they played with good enthusiasm and energy, which is what we’ve been trying to emphasize this spring. I felt pretty good about it.”
Nine healthy offensive playmakers, including the top three running backs and six receivers, sat out the scrimmage on Saturday in Great Falls.
Yet the unit led by veteran quarterback Dakota Prukop operated with precision early on.
The first-team offense scored 10 points on its first two possessions — the second a six-play, 41-yard march that featured the day’s lone touchdown — but failed to put points on the board in its final three drives.
Prukop finished 6-of-10 for 109 yards.
The second-team offense didn’t score until it seventh and final possession.
Still, MSU’s running game found success early. Redshirt sophomore Nick LaSane ripped off 25 yards on the first play — the longest play from scrimmage of the day — and capped the second drive with a 13-yard score in which he muscled through several attempted tackles.
He finished with a team-best 78 rushing yards (11 carries), while redshirt freshmen Tavon Dodd and Noah James added 67 and 32 yards, respectively.
MSU’s depth at wide receiver was on display. John D’Agostino led all receivers with 74 yards on four catches.
Outside linebacker Mac Bignell continued his productive spring, repeatedly getting involved around the line of scrimmage and forcing a fumble late. Zach Hutchins recorded back-to-back sacks of Prukop on the first team’s lone second-half possession.
“The thing I’m seeing that’s really helping our defense is all the blitzing they’re doing,” Prukop said.
The Bobcats appeared to emerge from Saturday’s action healthy.
Montana State returns to Bobcat Stadium next Saturday for the Sonny Holland Classic.
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