BOZEMAN — On Monday afternoon, Montana State head coach Brent Vigen spoke to the media. After booking a trip to Frisco, Texas to face North Dakota State in the championship, Vigen is going to allow his team to catch their breath, heal up and enjoy Christmas before they hit the ground running to try and win a title. The coaching staff will focus on film study this week of the Bison.
“We got one more (game) in front of us," Vigen said. "I know this is something that this program hasn’t accomplished in quite some time, but it’s not just about getting there, it’s about putting our best foot forward on January 8th with the intent on winning a football game.”
After defeating the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 31-17, Vigen was given the infamous Gatorade bath by his players.
“I figured it was maybe coming," said the first-year head coach. "I saw out of the corner of my eye, those guys standing there so I just kept walking and they got me. My coat did a pretty good job.”
Another candid moment after the game, was former head coach Jeff Choate connecting with Vigen to congratulate him. Choate has been to a few games this season to watch his son, Jory.
“I think it was just a very exciting moment for him and I really appreciate his congratulations and it was really good that he was able to be here," Vigen said. "I know he was down in Huntsville (for the Sam Houston State game) as well and he was at a regular season game, but that’s the first time in person I guess we’re had a chance to connect. It was good to have that moment.”
It’s going to be a bittersweet moment in the FCS Championship when the Montana State head coach gets set to take on his alma mater and a place he also coached at for 15 years, winning multiple titles.
“I know we’re going to have our hands full with North Dakota State," Vigen said. "They’re so well-coached, they play so hard. Again, much like we would have said about South Dakota State, I think a lot of things that we’re trying to do with this program, I think our programs are similar. I know that’s where we want to be.”
It sounds as if some key injured players could be returning for the title game on Saturday, Jan. 8.
“I think there’s a really possibility that they could be back. That would include, (defensive lineman Chase Benson, defensive back Ty Okada, and running back Isaiah Ifanse). I think there’s a real possibility in all those situations,” said Vigen.