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Jensen less stressed heading into start

Photo by Dave Wallis/The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead/Forum Communications Co. North Dakota State freshman quarterback Brock Jensen reacts to his touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Saturday playoff game against Robert Morris. Jensen knows he is today's starter against Montana State, which he said took pressure off him.

FARGO -- North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl named his starting quarterback on Monday. The way things went at the end of the season, that was progress for the Bison.

Freshman Brock Jensen and sophomore Jose Mohler were game-time decisions for the last game of the regular season at Missouri State and for last week's first-round playoff game against Robert Morris University. Jensen started both.

He'll be under center to start today's second-round Division I Football Championship Subdivision game at Montana State.

"The fact of waiting the whole week is kind of a stress a little bit," Jensen said. "It definitely helps out when you know going into the game and also your preparation is a little different."

Jensen returned from a broken collarbone to play at Missouri State, but both he and Mohler left that game with shoulder sprains. Mohler returned; Jensen didn't.

But he played the entire Robert Morris game with mixed results. He was 10 of 24 passing with a few of the throws wildly high and out of reach of his receivers.

"His timing was off," Bohl said. "Some of the things that he did within the game were pretty good and other things we were disappointed in. Some of the throws I've seen him normally make; we had errant balls there. He was just a little bit rusty."

Jensen, however, did set a team record for most yards throwing in a playoff game. His 229 yards eclipsed Bruce Grasamke's 1969 record, although NDSU for years was a running team in the postseason.

"Brock started raggedly early, but he got better and better," Bohl said. "I'm sure there's still some pain there, but I also appreciate his competitive nature."

Jensen said his shoulder was sore on Sunday morning, but progress came quick as the day went along.

"I'll be ready to go," he said.

Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.