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Cats open their season under the lights


The anticipation of college football in Bozeman has been huge this summer. After all, the Montana State Bobcats are the No. 4-ranked FCS team in the country and they have been unanimously picked to win the Big Sky Conference.

But the time for predictions and guessing is over as the Bobcats finally get their season underway tonight in Bozeman. MSU takes on NCAA Division II Chadron State at 7 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium. Tonight's game is believed to be the first official night game at MSU since the 1950's.

And it's also a game in which a sellout crowd on "Gold Rush" night will be amped for because the last time Chadron was in Bozeman the Eagles pulled off a stunner. That team had Danny Woodhead, who ran for over 200 yards on the Bobcat defense. Woodhead is now a star with the New England Patriots.

But this is a different Bobcat team and a different Bobcat Stadium. Lights were installed at the end of the 2011 season and the stadium's capacity was expanded to nearly 20,000 a year ago. And the Bobcats are coming off a 10-3 2011 campaign in which they had a nine-game winning streak, shared the Big Sky title with Montana and reached the FCS quarterfinals. And the Cats return 16 starters from that team, so Chadron will be a big underdog in a hostile enviornment tonight.

Tonight's game in Bozeman between Chadron and MSU will kick off at 7 at Bobcat Stadium. The game can be seen locally on Optimum Channel 5.


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