Who will NDSU play in Frisco? The second FCS Semi is about to kick off, if you dont feel like doing any Christmas shopping, join Big E and me and lets blog and watch the game on the red (maybe pink because of snow) turf! Game starts at 1pm on ESPN U.
What a performance by NDSU, on a night when 24 seniors said goodbye to the Fargodome, the Bison were led by their outstanding senior class, notably Brock Jensen, who recovered after an early pick 6 to throw for three touchdowns and run for another. Leevon Perry, who got his diploma earlier on Friday, continued his fantastic return from a torn ACL with a fumble recovery for a touchdown that sealed an NDSU 52-14 win over New Hampshire and sends the Bison to Frisco, Texas for a chance at three-peat. Jeff Kolpack, Eric Peterson and I break down the game from the Dome.
- Reminder per NCAA rules, no highlights are allowed on blog.
- Postgame interviews will be posted shortly with Bison players.
Join WDAY sports director Dom Izzo and The Forums Jeff Kolpack and Eric Peterson for the Bison Video Blog PreGame Show!
We’ve got a huge day of coverage planned for Friday, 1st of many reminders; NDSU head coach Craig Bohl will join me LIVE on the field start our 5pm newscast on Channel 6, you can also stream it live on WDAY.com, I’ll have live reports at 5, 6 and 10, including an interview with AD Gene Taylor at 6:20. Not to be forgotten of course is our PreGame Show with Jeff, Big E and me right around 5 here on the blog and our live blog of course, I know I don’t need to remind the hardcore readers of the blog, but consider yourselves made aware! Now onto the business, we caught up with New Hampshire HC Sean McDonnell and QB Sean Goldrich, here are their interviews:
Some NerdStats to sink into before the game:
- This is NDSU’s 3rd Friday night game in the past year, they have won the other two (Georgia Southern and Kansas State)
- This is the first time in the history of the FCS Playoffs that the semifinal hosts are the same from previous year (NDSU and Eastern Washington hosted in 2012 as well)
- Friday night will mark the 73rd home game for Craig Bohl at NDSU, the Bison are 60-12 heading into the game with UNH.
- NDSU has won 22 straight games, the FCS record is 24 set by Montana and Princeton.
- This is the best I’ve seen all year; NDSU has allowed 6 points in the 4th quarter: 6.
Here’s some research from a reader, who points out a stat I didn’t know on eight opponents having their lowest scoring output of the season:
Food for thought about the NDSU 2013 football schedule. Out of the 13 games played this season, 8 of their opponents had their lowest scoring game of the WHOLE season. I don’t know of another team that can say this. And we only had 2 players on All-American first team for defense. Sad.
- K-State vs. NDSU = 21 points.
- Ferris St vs. NDSU = 10 points
- Delaware St vs NDSU = 0 points
- SDSU vs NDSU = 0 points
- Northern Iowa vs. Illinois St = 3 points (vs. NDSU = 23 points)
- Missouri St vs Northern Iowa = 10 points (vs. NDSU = 26 points)
- Southern Illinois vs NDSU = 10 points
- Indiana St vs SDSU = 0 points (vs. NDSU = 10 points)
- Illinois St vs. NDSU = 10 points
- Youngstown vs SDSU = 13 points (vs. NDSU 17 points)
- USD vs NDSU = 0 points
- Furman vs. NDSU = 7 points
- Coastal Carolina vs. South Carolina (FBS) = 10 points (vs. NDSU = 14 points)
This post will be a brief change in programming for the week, we’ll resume full New Hampshire-NDSU coverage tomorrow, but there’s some news to be discussed today that affects both the Bison and Montana. First up, the Griz released their 2014 schedule today, they will play 12 games next season and will come to Fargo, except not on the date we originally thought.
Montana was supposed to come to Fargo on September 6th, NDSU’s home opener for 2014, but today it was revealed that that game has been moved to September 20th, as the Griz will instead host Central Washington. Spoke briefly to NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor about the schedule switch he told me that new head coach Chris Klieman preferred not to open next year with at Iowa State then home to Montana, and the Griz wanted a 6th home game therefore the move.
With the game getting moved that also has an affect on NDSU returning to ESPN. For those that don’t remember, refer to this blog post back in October, where Taylor said he contacted ESPN about being a part of its new FCS season opening TV package. Taylor confirmed that NDSU will no longer be considered for that opening weekend (we’re thinking August 23rd or 24th) but that ESPN still will move forward with the project. Disappointing news for some Bison fans considering the amount of exposure the team has had in recent years and you can bet that the Iowa State game will garner a national TV spot.
Finally what does this mean for the 2014 schedule? Well at least for now 10 opponents are still locked in and ’14 is again a year where the Bison could play 12. Taylor told me that he believes Klieman would like to play 12 games next season with a younger team and get some valuable experience. That means it’s a distinct possibility we see another Division 2 team return to Fargo next September, likely on September 6th and possibly another road game for the Bison on either September 13th or 27th, remember there are no bye weeks for NDSU when conference play begins in 2014. We’ll keep an eye on it of course.
Well with game day being moved up a day, need to get our Nerd Stats info out to everyone a day earlier, so here’s what you need to know about the University of New Hampshire and what they’re bringing to Fargo on Friday.
- New Hampshire enters Friday’s game winners of six straight and nine of its last ten games, the Wildcats started the year 1-3, with losses to Central Michigan, Lehigh and Towson, who plays in the other semifinal on Saturday. During this winning streak, the Wildcats haven’t scored less than
24 points. Strike that it’s less than 20, thanks to our readers for the correction.
- UNH’s offense is humming as addressed in the last point, they are averaging 32 points per game on the season, but the defense has been vulnerable, allowing 20 points per game. For point of reference, Towson racked up 731, yes 731 total yards against New Hampshire, Terrance West, who last we saw, was running all over Eastern Illinois, ran for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now since then, UNH has dramatically improved, their only other loss was to William and Mary, who for a time had the best scoring defense in the country.
- A closer look at UNH’s quarterback situation is interesting, sophomore Sean Goldrich has been the starter for the majority of the year, but he started the year on the bench behind junior Andy Vailas, each rotated snaps last season. Goldrich was devastating with his legs last week against Southeastern Louisiana, rushing for 99 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Wildcats to an impressive win.
- UNH has perhaps the most impressive playoff pedigree in the FCS, they have made the playoffs 10 consecutive years, the longest streak going, but this is their first trip to the semifinals. Consider also the league that UNH plays in, the CAA, traditionally the top in the country, this is the 4th time in the last 6 years that the league has two teams in the semifinals.
- Lastly, this is a stat that everyone knows, UNH’s most famous football alum is clearly Chip Kelly, the current head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly is a UNH grad, he coached there for years, rising to offensive coordinator from 1999-2006, he left Durham to take the OC job at Oregon and the rest is history.
Monday certainly didn’t calm down in the land of NDSU as the Bison are well into game prep for New Hampshire on Friday night, but also it appears the coaching change hasn’t affected recruiting in a negative fashion as the Bison received a verbal commitment from Lance Dunn, a 5’9 running back from Waterloo, Iowa, it should be noted that’s the new head coach’s backyard.
Dunn; according to Rivals.com had offers from Northern Iowa, South Dakota and Western Illinois and becomes the 15th commitment for the Class of 2014.
Well guys I'm officially a bison!!!!! #ndsu
— Lanceee (@lance_dunn3) December 17, 2013
The NDSU men’s basketball team has seen its RPI continue to soar after last week’s win over Notre Dame, they responded on Monday night with an impressive 85-66 win over Delaware, Taylor Braun was terrific, going for 33 points, Bison are now 8-4 thru the teeth of their schedule with a good Towson team to come on Saturday.
Couple other items for people that care; stories about two diverging football programs, first not a good story from Portland, where Portland State has been on notice that they need to be self-sustaining or risk the program being shut down, you can read that here. Also from last week that got under my radar, was the news that Eastern Kentucky is exploring the possibility of moving up to FBS. EKU made the playoffs in 2011, they’re looking for either a spot in the Sun Belt or the MAC, read what you will into it here.
Join The Forum’s Jeff Kolpack and WDAY sports director Dom Izzo for the latest episode of the Bison Video Blog! The University of New Hampshire Wildcats are the only thing standing between the Bison and a thrid trip to Frisco, TX.
Another ridiculous Sunday covering the top team in FCS, as NDSU has selected a new head coach on top of the fact of preparing for the FCS Semifinals on Friday night. Join Jeff, Big E and me at 10 and let’s chat!