Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO — The North Dakota State football team isn't the only athletic entity scrambling for a game plan on Saturday, Dec. 10. The NDSU staff in charge of game day operations is also being put to the test. The NCAA, through a memo to the NDSU athletic department dated Dec. 5 that clarified its stance from prior action, outlined a new policy in one paragraph that essentially banned NDSU from its "Thunderstruck" team intro video.
FARGO — It's the senior season for North Dakota State center Dexter Werner and the school rewarded him nicely with the schedule. He gets to play in a game against the University of North Dakota twice this year. There's something about the hard-working, intensity-driven nature of Werner that just fits with this game between two schools 70 miles apart. They play in different conferences and UND has a different nickname than the one Werner used to watch on TV in this game but it's still NDSU vs. UND. "I don't have a problem with it, being twice," Werner said.
FARGO — Just as sure as the iPhone comes up with some sort of technology upgrade, the football teams at North Dakota State and South Dakota State will most likely do their best to do something different in the rematch. It's the great unknown that will be debated behind closed office doors this week. The teams meet at 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs, the third time the two programs will play each other twice in one season. NDSU defeated the Jackrabbits in the 2012 and 2014 playoffs in the second round.
FARGO — It's been a fall full of beautiful Saturdays in the west parking lot of the Fargodome, even into November when the odds of wearing a light coat are not good. If you're into the tailgating thing, and thousands of you are, you couldn't have picked better weather on Saturdays. That wasn't the case this weekend, with a cold wind making the tents, buses and trailers almost mandatory. Unless you're of the tough-guy variety. You know, like MJ Stumpf.
FARGO — It was in 2006 when the University of San Diego, behind record-setting quarterback Josh Johnson, was motoring through its FCS schedule by leading the country in total offense and scoring defense. It doesn't get much more dominating than that. And the Toreros third-year head coach Jim Harbaugh was trying to let anybody and everybody know about it, said Michael Mirer, who covered UC Davis football for the Davis Enterprise newspaper.
FARGO — One college football team, the University of San Diego, has a roster mostly full of Californians. The other team, North Dakota State, has a roster mostly full of players from the Upper Midwest. So when those two programs hook up on Saturday at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome for an FCS second-round playoff game, the odds of good friends being on the opposite sideline are probably not real good. But that will be the case with NDSU's Jackson Koonce and the Toreros' Jack Flatau. Not only that, they're both punters.
FARGO—To start listing the resume of University of San Diego head coach Dale Lindsey would seemingly require a day's worth of research. Put it this way: To say he has a wealth of experience is understating it.
FARGO—It's probably a given that North Dakota State senior linebacker Pierre Gee-Tucker will at least get a shot at playing professional football. He's going to hire an agent after the season and begin a quest that several of his teammates have done in recent years. But, Gee-Tucker said, the priority this week is on his team—not his future—in regards to a knee injury he suffered in the last regular season game against the University of South Dakota. Would it be prudent for him to "lay it all on the line" even if it meant possibly damaging an NFL shot?
FARGO — Somewhere between the time the kickoff coverage unit for North Dakota State's football team walks onto the field until Cam Pedersen kicks off, some sort of switch in the soul of Chris Board flips on. It's go time. For Board, there is no such thing as a gradual revving of his motor. He goes from zero to full speed in a matter of a few yards and there is no letting up. "You have to have a kamikaze-type attitude running down there," Board said. "You have to have a couple screws loose when you're running but I definitely enjoy it."
FARGO — The University of San Diego will be the 24th FCS playoff game for North Dakota State, a list of matchups that comprises 18 different teams. In a sense, the Toreros may be the most mysterious of them all.