Don’t let the scoreboard fool you.

The Colorado Mesa Football team lost 26-0 in Bozeman, MT, on Saturday, but the talk around this mountain town on the edge of Yellowstone National Park was about how well the Mavericks played.

That’s because the talk around Bozeman before the game was how the Bobcats were going to blow the Mavs out. And it was justifiable talk. Colorado Mesa is Division II, Montana State plays a division higher in the FCS, and is ranked No. 3 in the nation at that. What’s more, the Bobcats have been in the Top 10 for 32 consecutive weeks at that level and have won or shared three of the last Big Sky Conference titles, while the Mavericks trudged to a 4-7 record last year under new coach Russ Martin.

But the Mavs weren’t about to roll over. Coming off a 34-0 win over Menlo College and out to prove themselves as a program on the rise in Martin’s second year, Colorado Mesa’s defense contained the Bobcats vaunted rushing attack. In fact, the Mavericks held the Bobcats to fewer points this week (26) than they scored last week against SMU (31), which plays a level above Montana State, in the FBS, or Division I-A

.The first half score today was 19-0, The second half score was 7-0. The Mavericks went toe to toe against Goliath.

Montana State will take the win entering Big Sky play. And the Mavericks will take a lot of positives in their defense and their own running game on the road again next week as they travel to open Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play in Chadron, Neb.