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—It was a solid throw and an even better pass route when receiver Jake Wieneke caught a two-yard touchdown pass. Moments later, South Dakota State was celebrating Saturday, Oct. 15, in the northwest corner of the Gate City Bank Field end zone. Last season, with the score tied at 21-21, the University of South Dakota's Miles Bergner was perfect with a 33-yard field goal and moments later, the Coyotes threw their own victory party in the northwest corner of the Fargodome.
FARGO—The word on North Dakota State freshman Ty Brooks on Sunday through Friday is he's a great practice player, a young freshman always looking to get better. It's a good example to set. "I hope a lot of younger guys see him and see how you're supposed to practice," said head coach Chris Klieman.
FARGO — The college football teams from St. John's and St. Thomas will play next fall at Target Field. The announcement came during a news conference on Monday in Minneapolis. It will be the first time the baseball home of the Minnesota Twins will delve into another sport — talks that also involved North Dakota State. Just because the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rivals got the game doesn't mean talks with NDSU have ended, said NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen.
FARGO — As expected, North Dakota State lost its status as the No. 1-ranked football team in the FCS national polls. Moreover, the Bison lost one of their top playmakers for an undetermined amount of time. Running back Bruce Anderson, also one of the top kickoff returners in the subdivision, reinjured his ankle on a routine-looking running play up the middle on Saturday against South Dakota State. Replays showed SDSU linebacker Christian Rozeboom holding on to Anderson's foot and then twisting as Anderson was trying to get away.
FARGO — South Dakota State needed to travel 80 yards in 2 minutes, 28 seconds on Saturday. It took the Jackrabbits 2:27. Taryn Christion's 2-yard touchdown pass to Jake Wieneke with 1 second remaining ended six years of Dakota Marker frustration against North Dakota State. The 19-17 victory at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome also ended eight straight losses to NDSU, a streak that included two Division I FCS playoff games. "My fourth time playing them, we lost the rest," Wieneke said. "It's nice to finally beat them."
FARGO—The role call of standout running backs at South Dakota State in the Division I era is pretty steady—a list from A-Z whether it was Anthony Watson or Zach Zenner. It's a philosophy that head coach John Stiegelmeier used to build his program over the years. Ground and pound on the old grass at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.
ROSHOLT, S.D.—The angus bull owned by George Knudsen back in his farming days was named "General Patton," a big ol' cow who found a great scratching post for his neck: A border marker monument. It's entirely possible that Gen. Patton got itchy when he was straddling the North Dakota and South Dakota state line, wondering if he should be a Bison or Jackrabbit fan. There are not many man-made small structures that could withstand a bull, but the boundary marker would be it.
FARGO — It was almost a year ago when Easton Stick took his first snap as a North Dakota State quarterback. He scored on a 29-yard run at Indiana State and his career was off and running. It hasn't stopped since. The sophomore is now 13-0 as a starter heading into Saturday's Missouri Valley Football Conference showdown against South Dakota State at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. In a sense, Stick probably has ownership of an unofficial team record: most wins as a starting quarterback to start a career, certainly in the Division I era.
FARGO — North Dakota State began the season with a young defensive secondary and considering the schedule the Bison played, there was no easing into it. They were thrown into the proverbial fire and after five games lived to tell about it. Sophomore cornerbacks Jalen Allison and Jaylaan Wimbush, sophomore strong safety Robbie Grimsley and junior free safety Tre Dempsey had to learn how to defend the triple option of Charleston Southern and then deal with a trio of teams with heralded receivers in Eastern Washington, Iowa and Illinois State.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Finding healthy fullbacks on the North Dakota State football team is getting to be a chore these days. So in looking for other options, one Bison sophomore gave his team an on-field audition against Missouri State on Saturday: Aaron Steidl. He's no Refrigerator Perry yet, but the NDSU noseguard picked up a fumble and ran 20 yards, which almost doubled the longest run by any Bears back all day. It was the signature play by a Bison defense that had the Bears playbook written in their minds before a play seemingly started.