SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
The Bobcats (8-1 overall, 5-1 in Big Sky Conference games), rallied from a 17-13 deficit heading into the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run by Cody Kirk with 8:13 to play. Kirk, who was the key to the MSU offense throughout the game, picked up 34 of the 64 yards during the six-play drive which started after a missed 53-yard field goal attempt by the Hornets (6-4, 4-3). Kirk also scored the game's first touchdown with a 15-yard drive midway through the first quarter and finished with 129 yards on 24 carries.
Field goals from Sacramento State's (24 yards) and Montana State's Rory Perez (35 yards) made the score 10-3 in favor of MSU until tight end caught a 13-yard pass from with 5:43 to play in the first half. The touchdowns was Knowles' fourth in as many games (one per game) and gives him five on the year.
In the second half, both team's opened with punts. Norrise countered with a 41-yard return to take the ball to the MSU 30. However, two plays later the pass went through Norrise's hands at the 23-yard line and was intercepted by Darius Jones who took the ball back across midfield. The Hornet defense stopped the Bobcats only to have Trevor Bolton's punt deflect off of a player who was running back to set up a block. The ball was recovered by Donald Tudahl and set up a 44-yard field goal from Perez to give Montana State a 13-10 lead with 7:02 left in the quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Safron connected with Norrise for the 76-yard touchdown. The pair had tried to connect on two long passes in the first half only to have the ball sail past Norrise. In the third quarter, Norrise wrestled for position with safety Steven Bethley, came down with the ball and then burst up the field for the longest play for Sacramento State this season.
"All night they were doing a good job of getting to us at the line of scrimmage," Norrise said after the game. "We knew that if you could make them miss, we could make a big play."
Sacramento State looked to add to its lead early in the fourth quarter, driving to the MSU 21 yard line before Safron threw incomplete on 3rd-and-6. A chop block was called against the Hornets moving the ball to the MSU 36 and after another incomplete pass the coaching staff opted for the long field goal which came up short.
After Kirk's touchdown run, Safron fumbled near midfield but the defense held and got the ball back with 2:05 to play. A roughing the passer penalty against MSU took the ball to the Hornets' 35-yard line before Safron was intercepted by Joel Fuller along the sideline to seal the victory for the Bobcats.
Sacramento State gained 332 yards on the night against the best defense in the Big Sky. The Hornets had 82 team rushing yards, led by 60 from junior on 13 carries. Safron was 20-of-35 for 250 yards and also threw two touchdowns with the two interceptions. The sophomore is now tied for second in school single-season with Ricky Ray with 20 touchdowns this year. holds the single-season mark with 23 in 2010. Knowles set a career mark with seven receptions and finished with 55 yards. Norrise eclipsed his previous career high by one yard.
Safety and linebacker each had double-digit tackles. Washington led all players in the game with 13 tackles while starting in place of the injured at safety. Davis finished with 12 tackles and is now 10th on the Sacramento State career list with 218 stops. The Hornets also had five sacks with one apiece coming from Davis, , , and . The team has now tallied 32 sacks on the year which is one shy of the single-season mark during the Div. I-AA/FCS era.
Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee was 14-of-22 for 105 yards. Tray Robinson was the leading receiver with three catches for 34 yards. Linebacker Na'a Meakiola paced MSU with nine stops, including five for loss.
Following a bye, Sacramento State will play at UC Davis on Saturday, Nov. 17. The game against the Aggies will kickoff at 3 p.m.
NOTES: Prior to the game, Sacramento State honored 13 seniors who were playing their final game at Hornet Stadium…the Hornet defense held MSU to just 5-of-15 on third down. Montana State entered the game leading the Big Sky with a third-down conversion rate of 57.5 percent…the 100-yard game was the second for Norrise this season and the third of his career…the Hornets allowed 100 yard rushers in back-to-back games for the first time since 2008…the 332 yards allowed by MSU were the most by the Bobcats in a Big Sky game this year.
recorded a career high 128 receiving yards, including a 76-yard touchdown, and the Sacramento State defense limited Montana State to just 275 yards of total offense but four second-half turnovers doomed the Hornets' upset bid in a 20-17 loss to No. 3 Montana State on Saturday.
June 24, 2013 CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR LLOYD SNELSON SET FOR TUESDAY
April 29, 2013 KNOWLES, McMAHON TO GET NFL OPPORTUNITIES
April 27, 2013 FOOTBALL CLOSES SPRING BALL WITH FINAL SCRIMMAGE
February 6, 2013 Football Closes Signing Day with 26-Man Recruiting Class
January 28, 2013 football to Host Signing Day Party on Feb. 6
January 11, 2013 Sellers, Smith Latest to Join Football Midyear Signing Class
January 2, 2013 T.J. Knowles to Play in NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
December 21, 2012 Hunke, Duckett Add to Football's Early Recruiting Class
December 19, 2012 Aysse, Kendal Become First Signees of 2013 Football Class
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November 20, 2012 Eleven Football Players Earn All-Big Sky Honors
November 20, 2012 Bloomfield, Safron, Davis Earn Football MVP Honors
November 17, 2012 Football Can't Overcome Miscues in 34-17 Causeway Classic Loss
November 15, 2012 Scholarshare to Become Title Sponsor of Causeway Cup
November 14, 2012 Football Closes Regular Season with Causeway Classic on Saturday
November 3, 2012 Turnovers Costly in Football's 20-17 Loss to No. 3 Montana State
October 29, 2012 Safron Named Root Sports Big Sky Player of the Week
October 27, 2012 Football Knocks off No. 11 Cal Poly, 35-29
October 26, 2012 Sacramento State and Holy Cross Still Connected After 43 Years
October 25, 2012 Memorial for John Boomfield set for Monday, Oct. 29
October 23, 2012 Football Renews Rivalry with Cal Poly on Saturday
October 21, 2012 Sacramento State Mourns the Passing of John Bloomfield
October 17, 2012 Comcast Hometown Network to Televise Saturday's Football Game
October 16, 2012 Football Travels to Top-Ranked Eastern Washington on Saturday
October 10, 2012 Football Takes on Weber State for Homeconing on Saturday
October 8, 2012 Badger Named Root Sports Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week
October 6, 2012 Football Knocks Off Southern Utah, Wins Third Straight Road Game
October 2, 2012 Football Returns to Southern Utah for Big Sky Matchup
October 1, 2012 Edgar Castaneda Named Root Sports Big Sky Player of the Week
September 29, 2012 Offense Erupts, Defense Responds in 54-31 Win at Idaho State
September 25, 2012 Nash Returns to Cardinals; Fleming to Play for Mountain Lions
September 22, 2012 Football Can't Overcome Mistakes in Big Sky Loss to North Dakota
September 19, 2012 Hornet Football Weekly Returns to Thursday Night
September 18, 2012 Football Begins Big Sky Play Agianst North Dakota on Saturday Night
September 17, 2012 Osagie Odiase Named Big SKy Root Sports Defensive Player of the Week
September 15, 2012 Football Claws Way to 28-17 Vicotry Over Nothern Colorado
September 12, 2012 Football Home Opener Agianst Northern Colorado on Saturday
September 10, 2012 Safron, Castaneda Named Big Sky Players of the Week
September 8, 2012 Castaneda's Game-Winning Field Goal Gives Football 30-28 Win at Colorado
September 4, 2012 Football Heads to Colorado for Second Straight FBS Game
August 30, 2012 Several Ways to Follow Football Opener on Thursday
August 30, 2012 Football Falls at New Mexico State in 2012 Season Opener
August 27, 2012 Football Opens Season on Thursday at New Mexico State
August 21, 2012 Football Media Guide Now Online; Final Scrimmage on Wednesday
August 15, 2012 Football Holds Frist Scrimmage & Bee a Hornet on Saturday
August 10, 2012 First Practice in Pads Ends with a Boot
July 31, 2012 Football Begins Training Camp on Sunday
July 26, 2012 Dinner Under the Lights to Take Place on August 25
July 19, 2012 Travel with Hornet Footabll in 2012
July 15, 2012 Todd Davis Named Preseason All-Big SKy