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 weather forecast for Brookings, S.D., on Saturday, Nov. 4, calls for temperatures in the 40s with the potential for rain or freezing rain early in the day. No. 2-ranked North Dakota State probably wouldn't mind temperatures in the 20s and blowing snow.
FARGO—The Division I Football Championship Committee will release its first postseason rankings on Thursday, Nov. 2, which in the big picture is expected to give teams like North Dakota State an idea of where they stand with three weeks remaining in the regular season. In a change, the committee will only release two polls before the Sunday, Nov. 19, selection Sunday show. That's down from four from last year. Richard Johnson, the chair of the committee, said on the Kolpack & Izzo radio show on WDAY-AM over the weekend that having four rankings simply wasn't needed.
FARGO—North Dakota State started fall practice with six healthy running backs. It's been a revolving door of health, but the Bison are down to three heading into the stretch run of the season. Out for the foreseeable future is junior Lance Dunn, who will be sidelined four to six weeks with a torn labrum in his hip. Dunn was hurt late in the game two weeks ago against Western Illinois, but Klieman said further analysis in the last week indicated he will not need surgery.
FARGO—North Dakota State maintained its stronghold on the Missouri Valley Football Conference Saturday afternoon, Oct. 28, with just that—strength. A relentless defense was too much for Northern Iowa to handle and the Bison went on to a 30-14 victory before 18,687 fans at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. The No. 2-ranked Bison moved to 5-0 in the Valley and 8-0 overall heading into their Dakota Marker showdown at South Dakota State next Saturday, Nov. 4.
FARGO—This having-a-child thing was hard. As the years went by, each one seemingly more painful than the previous, Chery DeLuca would look at friends, neighbors or anybody out and about with a family, and wonder why me. Why couldn't she have a little boy or a little girl? She wanted to be a mom and even all the advances in family medicine weren't working. Every month when the time came to see if anything worked, hope turned to grief. "Just grief for this child you didn't have," she said. "Why? Why? Why?"
FARGO — When Northern Iowa head football coach Mark Farley calls up a video of North Dakota State, he sees pretty much the same things he's seen for nine years. Since the teams started playing in 2008, the Bison have run virtually the same schemes on offense and defense. On the flipside, Farley is in his 17th year at UNI so when NDSU began its study of the Panthers last Sunday, there probably wasn't a whole lot of updating to do. The two programs have been perennial Division I FCS playoff teams and contenders for a Missouri Valley Football Conference title, so why change?
FARGO—The North Dakota State school record for tackles in a game is 29 by linebacker Grant Olson, set in the 2012 Division I FCS playoffs against Wofford. If Olson were by some miracle to find a time machine and get another year of eligibility this season, he may have to share the tackling wealth. The Bison send so many defenders at a team these days that it's almost hard to sort them all out.
FARGO—At the halfway point, there's just one remaining unbeaten team in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. That would be North Dakota State, which used a familiar formula to move to 4-0 in the league. The Bison defense kept the Western Illinois offense out of the end zone in a 24-12 win before 18,630 fans at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. The No. 2-ranked Bison held the Leathernecks scoreless in the second half and to 216 total yards.
Fargo He's the football version of the perfect soldier, does what he's called upon to do and doesn't appear to care if he gets the credit. RJ Urzendowski, perhaps, in a prior life was a member of the Greatest Generation that served—and didn't ask questions. Need a block downfield? He's your man. Need a catch on the sidelines that requires him to go horizontal to the turf? Look no farther. Need somebody to go over the middle? There is no fear.
FARGO—There was a time when the North Dakota State home football season was looking more bad and ugly than good with Fargodome games against Mississippi Valley State, Robert Morris, Missouri State, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa and South Dakota. History wasn't on the season ticket holders' side. It was looking to be the UNI rivalry game and the other five at Gate City Bank Field. That line of thinking, however, has taken 180-degree turn with the upward surge of Western Illinois and USD. The Coyotes are ranked fourth in the latest FCS Division I top 25 coaches poll.