Fans have had two games circled on their calendar since the initial MSU football schedule was released, Eastern Washington and Montana. Situated between those two games was a match-up with the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. This may now be the most crucial game on the schedule following MSU's loss to the Eagles.
"They're 7-3 just like we are," said MSU head coach Rob Ash. "They have a chance to go 9-3 and go to the playoffs, so this is arguably one of the biggest games they've had maybe ever in their football program."
With identical 7-3 records the Bobcats know they must win this game if they hope to secure a playoff bid. MSU currently has a better Big Sky Conference record, 5-1 to Utah's 4-2.
However, a Utah win would even the Bobcat's with not only the Thunderbirds but potentially Montana and Cal Poly. Both of those teams are also 4-2 in the conference heading into their games this weekend.
"Nobody can overlook them," said MSU junior offensive lineman Quinn Catalano. "The Thunderbirds are a great team. They're pretty big up front so we have to be physical. Last year they played us tough. This year we have to run downhill and hit them in the face."
One advantage the Bobcats will have is a home crowd as their final two regular season games are at Bobcat stadium where they are 4-0 this season.
"We love going on the road, we love going behind enemy lines," said Catalano. "We can't wait to come back to our home fans though. We have great fans here and we're ready to go."
"I love being at home," Ash said. "Our crowd needs to flush Eastern Washington and get out there too. I'm going to urge them just like I urged the team to put all that behind us and look forward because we still have a great opportunity the rest of the season. We need our crowd to be pumped up and inspired like the other games we've had so far this year."