Bohl: North Dakota State can make statement vs. MinnesotaFARGO — About half of North Dakota State’s roster hails from Minnesota. Bison coach Craig Bohl said it is not a big motivating factor for Saturday’s game against the neighboring Gophers. Or is it?
By: Dave Kolpack, The Associated Press
FARGO — About half of North Dakota State’s roster hails from Minnesota.
Bison coach Craig Bohl said it is not a big motivating factor for Saturday’s game against the neighboring Gophers.
Or is it?
“I do know that there’s not a guy on our squad that was offered a scholarship from a Big Ten school. Not one,” Bohl said Monday at his weekly press conference. “You’ve got a bunch of small-town guys from small Minnesota communities.”
The Bison (2-0) face the Gophers (1-2) for the first time since 2007, when NDSU pulled off a 27-21 shocker at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. At the time, NDSU was making the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I athletics and was not eligible for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
The Bison have high hopes this year for a second straight FCS playoff run, but that doesn’t take away from the opportunity to make a statement against an FBS team, Bohl said.
“Make no mistake, this is an important game for us,” the coach said. “It’s a great thing for NDSU. It’s a great thing for the community. We will have exposure all across the country.”
NDSU has a 4-3 record against FBS teams since 2006. The Bison are 1-1 against Minnesota, 1-0 against Kansas, 1-0 against Ball State, 1-0 against Central Michigan, 0-1 against Iowa State and 0-1 against Wyoming.
Minnesota officials expect a near-capacity crowd at TCF Bank Stadium, which seats 50,805. About 500 tickets were available Monday, and another 500 are expected to be released after student sales are completed, athletic department spokesman Garry Bowman Jr. said.
NDSU was allotted 3,000 tickets, but associate athletic director Troy Goergen said he wouldn’t be surprised to see 20,000 Bison fans in the stands. Some thought as many as 30,000 Bison supporters attended the 2007 game in the Metrodome.
“People have had this game on their calendar for a long time,” Goergen said. “They’re looking forward to being on a Big Ten college campus on game day.”
The Bison are ranked No. 12 in this week’s FCS coaches’ poll. They fell six spots after a bye week that followed two easy wins over Lafayette and St. Francis, Pa.
Bohl acknowledged that the early level of competition might have influenced the voters. He does not vote.
“We scheduled the people that we could schedule,” he said. “The thing that I appreciated about our football team is that we played that people that we could play and went out and played as well as we could play.”