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—You can do a lot in 4 minutes and 49 seconds around the Fargodome on a Saturday afternoon. You can drive a custom-made Bison fan bus into the tailgating lot, for instance, and take about that much time to set up for the day's festivities. It takes about that much time from the moment the lights go out and the North Dakota State "Thunderstruck" intro gets going until the lights come on again.
FARGO—It's going to be hard for somebody from Wyndmere or Lidgerwood to top Chuck Klosterman as the most famous son from the southeastern North Dakota small towns that form one of the most successful 9-man football programs in the state. The author and national columnist has written for publications like Esquire and ESPN.com. Klosterman is from Wyndmere and the town has snuck into his talks or writings from time to time. He was a high school basketball player in his prep days, but not near the level of Ron Becker, who played for the University of North Dakota from 1972-76.
FARGO — Glassy eyes with a little hint of red around the eyelids and a razor that hasn't been used in a few days — it's what you would expect by Thursday afternoon for a defensive coordinator in the heat of the FCS playoffs. Add to that preparing for a rare triple-option offense and North Dakota State's Matt Entz has triple the thoughts on his mind. It's like cramming for a final exam when you haven't been to class all semester.
FARGO — The season was getting long for Grant Olson not only because he and his North Dakota State teammates were getting ready for final exams, but they had to do extra homework that week against Wofford College (S.C.). The Terriers brought a rare triple-option offense to the Fargodome for a 2012 FCS quarterfinal matchup. The Bison middle linebacker remembers feeling beat up from the rigors of enduring eight physical games in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Olson finished the season with 148 tackles, the most in NDSU's Division I era.
FARGO—North Dakota State's non-conference series with one of the top teams in the Missouri Valley Conference will go down as a split. The Summit League Bison couldn't close a sweep at home against Missouri State on Monday night at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex. An untimely scoring drought late was NDSU's downfall and the Bears took a 71-58 victory on a night when blizzard warnings were common in the Red River Valley. NDSU got cold, too.
FARGO—There was a time when the Southern Conference was all about Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, two historically rich programs that put together a couple of the best title-winning streaks in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
FARGO—They look different at defensive tackle in the Missouri Valley Football Conference than they do in the Pioneer Football League. They look different at safety and they look different at defensive end. They really look different at linebacker, too. They look like 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, the dimensions of Bison senior Nick DeLuca. They look like Jabril Cox, who is 6-3, 227. If the conventional wisdom says DeLuca is getting healthier as the season is getting longer, then Wofford College (S.C.) will have to deal with his presence next weekend in the quarterfinals.
FARGO—The NFL roll that Carson Wentz is on with the Philadelphia Eagles is turning into an MVP-like season. And to think it was only two years ago when he was roaming the halls of the Fargodome with the rest of the Bison quarterbacks. Obviously, Easton Stick is paying attention to his friend.
FARGO—There's more than figuring out a weather forecast to John Wheeler, the WDAY chief meteorologist. He's also an instructor at North Dakota State and at least one student couldn't be more thankful. If football doesn't work out for Bison defensive tackle Nate Tanguay, he may have found his calling in life.
FARGO—It took until the seventh year of Division I football, with the first four being a transition period, before North Dakota State discovered what the FCS playoffs are all about. Seven years after that, the entire NDSU operation seems to have the process perfected. There are now essentially two seasons of Bison football: the regular season and the postseason. The second season begins Saturday, Dec. 2, when NDSU hosts the University of San Diego in a second round playoff game at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.