MSU Bobcats to play in first FCS Championship game since 1984

Gov. Greg Gianforte makes friendly wager with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum

By: - January 7, 2022 2:52 pm

Montana State University plays Drake. (Provided by MSU for the Daily Montanan.)

The Montana State University Bobcats will be playing for an FCS National Championship for the first time since 1984 when they take on North Dakota State University this weekend.

After not playing a single game of football for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MSU Bobcats went 9-2 in the 2021 regular season with their stifling defense holding teams to less than 22 points per game. But they will face tough competition going up against NDSU, which has played in eight of the 10 most recent national title games before this season.

After earning the eighth seed in the playoffs, MSU starting quarterback Matthew McKay announced he was entering the transfer portal two days before their first game and would sit out during the playoffs, according to

And MSU is not the only one with something at stake this weekend. Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Thursday that he would send North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum a gift basket of Montana products if NDSU wins.

“There’s a lot on the line, so it’s only right we up the stakes. How’s this? If your team takes the trophy, I’ll send you over a basket of some of our very best made-in-Montana products – huckleberry jam, beef jerky, craft beer, and whiskey. You get the idea,” Gianforte said in the release.

In the basket is a variety of made-in-Montana products, including: 

  • Huckleberry jam from Becky’s Berries in Absarokee 
  • Montana beef jerky from Hi-Country Trading Post in Lincoln 
  • Cowboy Cereal from Cream of the West in Harlowton 
  • Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from KettleHouse Brewing Co in Missoula  
  • Devil’s Brigade Whiskey from Willie’s Distillery in Ennis 

Meanwhile Montana’s lone U.S. House member made a similar wager with North Dakota’s member, Kelly Armstrong.

“Since hunting and enjoying the outdoors is an important part of our Montana way of life, as well as the culture of North Dakota, Reps. Rosendale and Armstrong have agreed to wager a hunt in their respective state,” said a press release from Rosendale’s office on Friday afternoon.

The FCS National Championship game will be played in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff is at 10 a.m. MT on Saturday, Jan. 8. 

Reporter Darrell Ehrlick contributed to this report. 

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Keith Schubert
Keith Schubert

Keith Schubert is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. Keith was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019. He has worked at the St.Paul Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and most recently, the Asbury Park Press, covering everything from local craft fairs to crime and courts to municipal government to the Minnesota state legislature. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on Wisconsin sports teams and exploring small businesses. He can be reached by text or call at 406-475-2954 .