3:05 PM ET, September 23, 2006
Bobcat Stadium, BOZEMAN, MT
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- Montana State coach Mike Kramer called it progress. Eastern Washington coach Paul Wulff said it was about time.
The Eagles' 19-10 win over Montana State Saturday snapped a three-game losing streak.
"It was three weeks overdue," Wulff said. "It feels good to get that first one under your belt. We knew we had a tough nonconference schedule. You can't help but doubt yourself until you've got that first win.
"We've got that. Hopefully we can built on it," he said.
Brett Bergstrom kicked four field goals, including a 53-yarder, as well as the extra point after Toke Kefu's third-quarter touchdown for EWU (1-3, 1-0 Big Sky).
The Bobcats (1-3, 0-1 Big Sky) now have a three-game home losing streak after opening the season with a 19-10 win over Colorado.
But Kramer said at least the Bobcats were in the game, after losses of 35-24 to Division II Chadron State and a 45-0 pasting by UC Davis last week.
"After having been beat like a rag doll last week, we come out of this one not looking good, but definitely making progress," Kramer said. "Issues that have been issues in the past were not issues today."
But there were still issues.
The Bobcats fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage, MSU was penalized on a punt that was returned for a touchdown and a pass by Cory Carpenter was intercepted in the end zone. And that was just in the first quarter.
"It was a bad throw on my part," Carpenter said. "It haunted me a little bit, you know, but you've got to put it behind you."
The Bobcats were also penalized on a pass into the end zone in the second quarter.
Bergstrom kicked a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter, the 53-yarder in the second quarter and a 39-yarder as the half expired to give EWU a 9-0 lead.
Carpenter hit Michael Jefferson on a 14-yard TD pass with 11:44 left in the third to pull the Bobcats within 9-7.
The score was set up with an interception by Thele Braxton.
"This was not a debacle today," Kramer said. "This was a well-played ball game by both teams. Both teams had opportunities to win it."
Kefu rushed for 93 yards, including a 1-yard TD run with 7:35 left in the third quarter to give Eastern Washington a 16-7 lead.
Montana State got within 16-10 on a 40-yard field goal by Jeff Hastings with 3:43 left in the third.
Bergstrom kicked a 30-yard field goal with 12:29 remaining for the final score.
Carpenter completed 19 of 23 passes for 147 yards and was intercepted once. The Bobcats lost two fumbles and were successful on just four of 11 third-down conversions.
"We got beat because we couldn't measure up on third downs," Kramer said. "We'll probably run nothing but third-down simulations this week in practice."
The Bobcat players are frustrated.
"I can't lose any more," said MSU free safety Marcosus LeBlanc. "It's up to us as seniors and as a team to come together."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-15||4-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-2|
|FG||11:20||BRETT BERGSTROM 21 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 19 yards.
|FG||6:29||BRETT BERGSTROM 53 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 63 yards.
|FG||0:00||BRETT BERGSTROM 39 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 41 yards.
|TD||11:44||MIKE JEFFERSON 14 YD PASS FROM CORY CARPENTER (JEFF HASTINGS KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 20 yards.
|TD||7:35||TOKE KEFU 1 YD RUN (BRETT BERGSTROM KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||3:43||JEFF HASTINGS 40 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 58 yards.
|FG||12:29||BRETT BERGSTROM 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 52 yards.