NDSU, UNI share similar tiesFARGO — Northern Iowa has 10 players from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and North Dakota State 15. Rare is the recruit who didn’t get a serious look and/or scholarship offer from both schools.
By: Jeff Kolpack, The Dickinson Press
FARGO — Northern Iowa has 10 players from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and North Dakota State 15. Rare is the recruit who didn’t get a serious look and/or scholarship offer from both schools.
Even closer: NDSU’s defensive backs coach spent nine years on the Panther staff. It’s debatable how much Chris Klieman’s presence will mean to the Bison Saturday afternoon when the second-ranked Panthers and third-ranked NDSU clash at the Fargodome.
NDSU head coach Craig Bohl said both teams know so much about each other through film exchange. Especially now that the season is seven games old.
“There are not a lot of secrets out there,” Bohl said. “From the standpoint of any inside information, I can’t see that. But I can tell you it’s good having him on our staff.”
UNI head coach Mark Farley, however, says it’s common sense that there will be some advantages.
“The knowledge of the working parts and a better understanding of what to expect,” he said. “He can probably relay that to their staff and their team.”
Klieman declined interview requests this week through the NDSU sports information department. He took the Bison job last March citing a better opportunity and the desire for a change.
Klieman’s nine years were split up into two different shifts with the Panthers. He worked under former UNI head coach Terry Allen from 1991-93 and was Farley’s assistant from 2006-10.
Allen is now the head coach at Missouri State, which has played both teams.
“I’d like to be there,” Allen said Wednesday. “I think it will be a great football game. Both do what you need to do: play great defense and protect the football. It’s in the Fargodome; I think it’s a swing game either way.”
The winner would need to win two of its last three to guarantee itself a share of the title and, in all probability, a first round bye and a second round home game in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
It’s possible the loser could win its last three and get those same perks.
The game is so close on paper that the difference in the combined scores against the three common opponents is one point.
“It’s an exciting time, it’s what college football is all about,” Farley said.
Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead,
which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.