Alrighty it’s time for a cram session to get us back up to date, we’re a week away from the season beginning; 5 Missouri Valley teams play next Thursday night so let’s do this!
Countdown To 2013: NerdStats #14-8:
- 14: The amount of wins NDSU has racked up each of the last two seasons, tying a school record for most wins in a season; that has happened in two other championship seasons: 1988 and 1990. This 2013 version of the Bison has all the makings to tie that mark again this season, but a tougher road schedule than in past seasons could make that mark hard to reach.
- 13: That’s the number of redshirt freshman Eric Perkins, a guy who has been under the radar this entire fall camp, he’s 5’8, 167 pounds and while his frame won’t blow you away, his speed will, the coaches say he’s been very good during this fall camp and could be a Ryan Smith clone, watch for him early this season to make some noise in the passing game.
- 12: The number here actually is 13, that’s the length of years for the longest tenured coach in Bison history, CC Finnegan was the coach for NDSU from 1928-1940 during the early days of Bison football. Craig Bohl has a chance to not only become the winningest coach in NDSU history this season but in a couple years the longest tenured coach in Fargo as well, Bohl starts year 11 at the helm next Friday night.
- 11: Carson Wentz. Jeff and I have been talking about the big kid from Bismarck Century for the last year, seeing him in practice and what he brings to the table. Wentz has all the attributes to be a fantastic quarterback, the real issue is how does he get on the field? Can he get on the field? Some fans point to 2007 that Nick Mertens didn’t play enough to get truly evaluated to see if he could handle the reigns when Steve Walker graduated. How could you put Walker on the bench when the team went 10-1? The same situation surrounds Brock Jensen, a man who has led NDSU to back to back championships, you can’t bench the guy, but some reps in game situations is needed to see what exactly the Bison have for 2014.
- 10: This is a projection from yours truly. Last season NDSU’s running backs combined to have five 100 yard rushing games last season between John Crockett and Sam Ojuri. Do I think they’ll reach 10? Don’t think so, think NDSU will throw it a touch more in 2013, but I believe the number is 8, four each from Ojuri and Crockett, who have both told me during fall camp that they’re eager to improve on seasons where they both topped over 1,000 yards rushing.
- 9: Esley Thorton’s presence will be felt this season. The Bismarck native who now starts his 4th year in the program has fully adjusted to his new position at linebacker. Thorton has changed his body type and will be playing big time reps at that spot starting next Friday at Kansas State. He’s been a team player throughout this whole process, but more importantly he has shown the ability to play the position. Practice is one thing, games are another and that’s where Thorton has to show his stuff. The great experiment will be tested in just 8 days.
- 8: This number is correlated to any specific player or number, but just another player to watch in 2013. Mike Hardie had a terrific 2012 making plays on the defensive line, he had 4 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries, that’s pretty impressive for a guy who’s not a full-time player with Cole Jirik and Kyle Emanuel ahead of him. I get a sense Hardie is ready for a big time season and then inherit starting on the defensive line in 2014.
There it is folks, digest and discuss, I know some are disappointed we’ve fallen behind, hope this makes up a little for that, we have some big things planned next week to start off the 2013 season including our game by game predictions on Monday!