MISSOULA — Denarius McGhee threw two first-quarter touchdown passes and Montana State held on to beat Montana 21-16 and clinch the Big Sky Conference championship.
With the win, the Bobcats (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky) earned an automatic berth in the FCS playoffs. Montana (7-4, 5-3) will find out Sunday if it receives an at-large playoff bid.
McGhee threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Bleskin on Montana State’s opening drive, and added 9-yard scoring pass to C.J. Palmer.
Montana kept pace in the high-scoring first quarter with touchdown runs of 59 yards by Chase Reynolds and 6 yards by Justin Roper. Reynolds finished with 180 yards rushing.
Orenzo Davis gave the Bobcats the lead for good on a 17-yard run in the second quarter.
The Grizzlies wasted a pair of scoring chances in the second half when they fumbled the ball away twice inside the Montana State 5-yard line.