BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Denarius McGhee overcame a sluggish start to throw for three touchdowns and run for another as Montana State beat Portland State 44-31 on Saturday.
McGhee, who misfired on six of his first eight passes as the Bobcats (5-1, 3-0 Big Sky) fell behind 18-3 in the first quarter, threw scoring strikes of 40 yards to Everett Gilbert and 16 yards to C.J. Palmer in the second period. McGhee rushed for a 4-yard TD to put the Bobcats ahead to stay, 23-18, with 48 seconds before halftime.
Portland State (2-3, 1-1) compiled 240 yards of offense in the first quarter but was held to 216 yards the rest of the way. Connor Kavanaugh was 16 for 27 for 208 yards and a touchdown passing, and Cory McCaffrey rushed for 153 yards and two scores.
McGhee completed 15 for 27 passes for 206 yards and had 71 yards rushing on 11 carries for Montana State, which had 532 yards of offense.