3:00 PM ET, September 10, 2005
Bobcat Stadium, BOZEMAN, MT
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- Montana State football coach Mike Kramer can throw away the aspirin bottle.
"We've had a headache since last year at Eastern Washington," said Kramer about the first of four straight losses until Saturday's 42-6 victory over Stephen F. Austin. "The headache's over."
Travis Lulay passed for 202 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 106 yards to lead the Bobcats to their first win since last October.
Lulay hit Chaz Guinn and Tramaine Murray with two TD passes each and kicker Jeff Hastings added three fourth-quarter field goals. The Bobcats (1-1), ranked 16th in NCAA Division I-AA, held the Lumberjacks (1-1) to a pair of field goals by Cory Long.
"That's the most rock-solid effort against a quality opponent since I've been here," said Kramer, in his sixth season with the Bobcats.
First-year SFA coach Robert McFarland said he told Kramer before the game, "Man, six years from now, I hope I've got a thing rolling like this with a quarterback like you've got."
Murray, who caught seven passes for 141 yards, scored on a 54-yard pass play from Lulay to give the Bobcats a 26-3 lead with 9:52 left in the third quarter. Long kicked a 41-yard field goal to make it 26-6 with 5:03 left in the third.
Toph Grenfell intercepted SFA quarterback Zeke Dixon on the Lumberjacks' 41-yard line and returned the ball to the 10. Lulay hit Guinn on the goal line with 1:59 left in the third quarter to put MSU up 33-6.
"The defense made some great plays," said Lulay, who played only one series in the fourth quarter. "That gave us a lot of confidence."
Hastings, who missed two extra-point attempts, connected on field goals of 25, 37 and 42 yards.
SFA scored first on a 23-yard field goal by Long midway through the first quarter, but the Bobcats answered with a 6-yard TD pass from Lulay to Guinn with 5:07 remaining.
Hawaii transfer Michael Bass, who rushed 21 times for 81 yards, put the Bobcats up 14-3 on a 2-yard run early in the second quarter.
The Bobcats took advantage of a Lumberjack miscue later in the period to go up 20-3. After the snap sailed over the head of punter Ryan Gooch, he chased down the ball and kicked it off the ground into the end zone. The Lumberjacks were assessed a 41-yard penalty and MSU took possession on SFA's 3-yard line.
Three plays and a 15-yard penalty later, Lulay found Murray in the end zone from 18 yards out with 4:28 remaining in the half.
"We've got a lot of things to improve on," said Lulay, who was intercepted twice. "We had three turnovers in the first half."
Dixon completed 11-of-37 passes for 73 yards and was intercepted three times. Damian Perkins led the 'Jacks with 98 yards on 16 carries. Dixon passed for 338 yards in last week's 49-38 win over Henderson State.
Montana State had 433 yards in total offense compared to 185 for Stephen F. Austin.
"We felt what showed last week (in a 15-10 loss to I-A Oklahoma State) was what this team is capable of," said MSU safety Ryan Force. "When you stop an opponent, that gives the offense a lot of momentum."
The Bobcats played their home opener before a sellout crowd of 13,327.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-18||4-12|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||1-1|
|FG||7:28||CORY LONG 23 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||5:07||CHAZ GUINN 6 YD PASS FROM TRAVIS LULAY (JEFF HASTINGS KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||14:02||MICHAEL BASS 2 YD RUN (JEFF HASTINGS KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 15 yards.
|TD||4:28||TRAMAINE MURRAY 18 YD PASS FROM TRAVIS LULAY (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 3 yards.
|TD||9:52||TRAMAINE MURRAY 54 YD PASS FROM TRAVIS LULAY (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 58 yards.
|FG||5:03||CORY LONG 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 15 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||1:59||CHAZ GUINN 10 YD PASS FROM TRAVIS LULAY (JEFF HASTINGS KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 10 yards.
|FG||12:53||JEFF HASTINGS 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yards.
|FG||7:49||JEFF HASTINGS 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 23 yards.
|FG||2:26||JEFF HASTINGS 42 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 23 yards.