BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Troy Andersen ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns, the Vandals missed an extra point with 3:07 to play and Montana State beat Idaho 24-23 on Saturday.
The MSU offense was stagnant for most of the first half, going three-and-out on three of its six possessions, but the Bobcats (4-2, 2-1 Big Sky Conference) came to life in the second half, scoring two touchdowns in a three-minute span to take a 21-17 lead.
The Bobcats drove 75 yards in five plays, including a 37-yard pass from Andersen to Lance McCutcheon, setting up a 2-yard TD run by Isaiah Ifanse. MSU then held on downs and Andersen bolted 60 yards for another score.
“He’s fast,” MSU head coach Jeff Choate said of Andersen, a two-time 100-meter champ in high school. “That’s good for us. That was a huge swing in momentum. Probably the most critical moment in the game for us.”
Idaho opened with a strong drive for a touchdown and went up 17-7 early in the second half before MSU got on track.
The Vandals (2-4, 1-3) drove for what appeared to be the tying points when David Ungerer scampered in on a broken reverse-pass play from 9 yards. Cade Coffey was wide on the extra point, however, and MSU recovered the ensuing on-side kick.
Idaho’s Isaiah Saunders ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Ifanse had 53 yards on 13 carries.
Idaho head coach Paul Petrino, a former star quarterback at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, was coaching in a game in Montana for the first time in 25 years. He last coached in Montana at Carroll with his father, Bob, who died shortly before the season.