When the Stanford Cardinal return to Pasadena for their second straight Rose Bowl Game as Pac-12 champions, they’ll get matched up with the Michigan State Spartans who are similarly physical on the defensive side of the ball. Points will likely come at a premium when they square off and both sides will be looking for someone to step up and provide a game-breaking spark. For Stanford, that means finding touches for Ty Montgomery to find a way to break things open.
Montgomery found ways to impact games this season in more ways than just catching passes on offense from Kevin Hogan (though he was pretty good at that too). In addition to leading the team in receiving with 58 catches for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns, the junior receiver mad a monumental impact on special teams. Montgomery led the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 31.16 yards per return with a pair of touchdowns, and was named a consensus All-American as a PR/KR. He’s also added two touchdowns rushing the football, giving him 14 total touchdowns on the year.
Having that ability to find the endzone in just about every way this season will make him a major key for the Cardinal in the Rose Bowl. Michigan State boasts one of the toughest defenses in the country and can shut down opposing offenses with suffocating pressure against both the run and the pass. The opportunities to break off big gains will be few and far between which makes the versatility of Montgomery an even bigger asset to David Shaw and the Stanford Cardinal.
Look for Stanford to get creating in finding ways to put the football into Montgomery’s hands throughout the Rose Bowl. Whether it’s on special teams returning kicks or on offense catching passes or getting handoffs, Montgomery is dynamic threat that can score the football in just about any situation. Against a defense like Michigan State, that is a huge key to victory that cannot be overlooked.