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Kirk proving to be one of all-time best Cats, Big Sky Notebook
The legend of Cody Kirk continues to grow in Bozeman.
In Montana State’s 34-17 victory over UC Davis last week, Kirk rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns as the Bobcats improved to 4-0 in the Big Sky Conference and 6-2 overall.
“He’s a pretty remarkable player,” said Bobcat head coach Rob Ash.
Kirk, who already holds the MSU career rushing touchdown record, is now the program’s second-leading all-time rusher. Only Kirk and record-holder Ryan Johnson have surpassed the 3,000-yard mark in their careers.
“We had him catch the ball out of the backfield and we rode him down there near the goal line and he pounded it in a couple more times,” said Ash of Kirk. “He’s a pretty special player.”
KIRK HAS 14 touchdowns this season, tied for second-most in a single season in program history. His 43 career touchdowns are a school record.
One of the Bobcat greats passed by Kirk on the rushing ladder last week was Glendive’s famed Don Hass. Of course, MSU football fans remember Hass as the “Iron Tumbleweed.”
A nickname for Kirk?
Well, the Frenchtown Flash sounds pretty good. And this week MSU Sports Information officials have taken to calling Kirk the Frenchtown Freight Train.
Kirk now has 3,048 career rushing yards. Ryan Johnson, who played for previous MSU coaches Cliff Hysell and Mike Kramer, amassed a record 3,646 in his brilliant career.
Johnson is now a physical therapist and Montana State professor.
BRAD DALY has 32 career quarterback sacks and 42 career tackles for loss.
The senior from Helena leads all Football Championship Subdivision defenders in sacks per game and TFL per game. Daly’s 17.5 tackles for loss this season is tied with Dane Fletcher for the eighth-best total in program history. His 12 sacks in 2013 are already the seventh-best total on the all-time Bobcat chart.
THE MONTANA Grizzlies will take a “must-win” approach into every game they have remaining.
If that wasn’t the case before for the No. 12 Griz, it gets ratcheted up this week as Montana heads to Sacramento State.
“We felt that every game was a must-win going into last week’s game,” UM head coach Mick Delaney said. “Our goals are still ahead of us – the possibility of the playoffs and the possibility of a national championship. But our goal of the conference championship went by the wayside with that loss to Eastern.”
SAC STATE has won three of its last four with its lone loss coming by a single point to Northern Arizona.
The Hornets topped UM two years ago which was the last time the teams squared off. It was also the final game the Griz lost in 2011 until the FCS semifinals.
The Griz players understand the ramifications of each game from now on, Delaney said.
“I don’t think it’s hard at all with the focus,” Delaney said. “Young people today are intelligent and they know what’s going on. They know they need to focus on one game at a time. If you think ‘You gotta do this’ or ‘You gotta do that,’ you’re dead in the water.”
THE HORNETS also have the benefit of a bye week prior to playing the Griz.
Delaney said the primary advantage of a bye week isn’t the extra preparation – it’s the opportunity Sac State has to rest and heal.
The Griz don’t have that luxury. Running back Joey Counts is out for at least this week with an ankle sprain, and fellow running back Travon Van is day-to-day after shocking the coaching staff by coming back from his own high-ankle sprain last week.
“We’ve got some injuries,” Delaney said. “It’s a real challenge from that standpoint, but it is what it is. We’re preparing for them with the four days we have.”
Written by Great Falls Tribune Staff