They say a football team is only as good as its offensive line.
If the saying is true, then Montana State is looking good.
Down in the trenches, Montana State figures to be one of the toughest in the conference, as four starters on the offensive line return for the Bobcats.
"We've never had such a continuity in the whole group,” said Head Coach Rob Ash. “All the guys are back except for one. We have guys that have all played. We have young guys still, which is very exciting because we only have one senior in that whole group. They're really setting the tone for the rest of the whole team."
The O-line has been setting the tempo with chemistry.
After playing last season together, there is a sense of familiarity in the group.
"We go through a lot of off season drills together,” said junior left guard, Kyle Godecke. “We're always together as an o-line and its been pretty nice knowing exactly who is next to you and what they're going to be doing without even talking about it."
"The best thing I like about this group is their work ethic and just the unit chemistry we have,” said offensive line coach, Jason McEndoo. “They get along, they do a lot of things together off the field. Really when you start playing for the guy next to you, then a lot of good things can happen."
The fifth and final spot is a competition between center Joel Horn and junior right tackle Alex Eekhoff with Quinn Catalano expected to start opposite of the winner.
Even with the competition, the line feels like its taking major steps forward.
"We're ready to go,” Eekhoff said. “We're getting up there on the line making our calls. Right now we're ahead of everyone. So it's really good for us and we're ready to go."
"The offensive line's job is to run block and pass block,” said Coach McEndoo. “We need to do those to the best of our ability and allow everyone else to be able to do their job behind us. We're trying to go at every single day, set the tempo and the physicality. We're trying to play fast, trying to play physical, and we're trying to play violent."