Alrighty last week of non-conference play for many, there are some conference openers and some intriguing games to pick this weekend, our NDSU-Montana game pick will be in the paper tomorrow along with our Pregame Show which airs LIVE tomorrow at 11:30 am on wday.com, inforum.com and bisonmedia.areavoices.com.
This was long before I arrived in Fargo, but shortly after I got here I heard the stories about the 2003 game with Montana, and this week it’s been fun to go back and watch that game and re-live NDSU’s first huge win in the D1 transition. Jeff wrote about it very well, click here and enjoy, and my story with former Bison QB Tony Stauss and the dulcet tones of my former boss Steve Hallstrom on the call, enjoy.
I’m not going to need the Father of Football to dissect the key to this game: rushing the football. That’s it.
Specifically for NDSU, stopping the Grizzlies’ running game is probably priority A and there’s no need to look further than the Montana stats this season. Wyoming shut the Griz down to just 42 yards rushing forcing quarterback Jordan Johnson to the air. He completed 24 of 45 for 185 yards and the Cowboys took a 17-12 win.
Last week, the Griz ground game got going against South Dakota to the tune of over 200 yards. It meant Johnson only had to attempt 27 passes with 16 completions. Statistically anyway, it’s apparent that Johnson’s comfort zone in the passing department does not match that of Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams, who would think nothing of putting up 50 attempts per game. Johnson’s game is all about controlling the offense and putting his guys in the right spots. It’s called balance.
If it sounds familiar to NDSU fans, it should. It’s what Brock Jensen did so well, especially his last couple of years. Jensen’s passing stats weren’t eye popping, but the almighty statistic of games won was. So if Johnson needs 25 passing attempts or less, it could be a good day for the Grizzlies. If he’s winging it 40 to 50 times, it could be a good day for the Bison.
It’s a heavy football time, but the men’s basketball team is making some waves, Dave Richman has locked up his first verbal commitment for the Class of 2015 in Hillsboro, Illinois big man Dylan Miller. Miller is 6’8, he averaged 17 points per game to go along with 10 rebound a game and his high school head coach Joe Vanzo believes he can come in and play right away. NDSU is going to be a young team for a couple years, the Bison have eleven players on this year’s roster that are sophomores or younger. NDSU has just three scholarships for 2015, provided nobody leaves, so that leaves two. Here’s my interview with Vanzo, and a link to Jeff’s story on Miller committing.
Still going strong after being awake for 17 hours, but I know you guys count on the PostGame Shows each and every week, so here’s this weeks after NDSU’s 27th straight win, 58-0 over Incarnate Word. Join Jeff, Big E and me as we break down the game and look at what happened downtown as well.