2013 Countdown #14-8

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!

19 thoughts on “2013 Countdown #14-8

  1. Wow that’s a lot of info! Comments. Hardie. Puttting up numbers similar to Jirik in his early days before he started. Mike was so good they made him a nickel pass rusher last year. Curious if he continues in the role with Perry out, if he spells Jirik more, or if they give one of the talented freshman DTs in the middle? Perkins. I remember seeing his highlight tape and he was very impressive. Not as fast as Smith but he has some serious moves and may be quicker. Fits into the slot receiver spot. Thorton. Not sure what to think. Nobody has any views with practice closed. (that’s probably a good thing) Last year he was thrown to the wolves and too skinny. This year he is a big dude and has a full camp under his belt.. Curious if Pierre Gee Tucker gets reps on special teams or if Thorton does? Thornton has the advantage with a year in the system but Tucker is a life time linebacker. I think we’ll see Thornton play and by the end of the year we will see Tucker. Wentz. Good point on Mertens not getting reps and not being ready. Wentz is talented and needs to get some reps for 2014 so we don’t have a repeat of Mertens who I think was unprepared to start. You can tell by watching him he is talented but needs to work out the fine details. I would hope we have a nice lead on Deleware State or Ferris which will help. Need to win now but also try and plan for the future. Tough thing to do.

  2. I do think Wentz will get his chance in the Ferris State game but any other games we would need big leads b4 he gets in. The only problem with the RB improving on what they did last year is how they use Morlock. As far as Bohl he will stick around as long as the media stops whining about his decision to close practices. He is the coach and can handle the team the way he thinks is best ,otherwise I’m sure there will be better opportunities for him elsewhere and who would blame him.

    • Be nice to see Wentz play in the 2nd quarter with the starters. Bohl has always been very conservative about pulling the starting QB in games.

  3. Great information, this is the stuff we have been waiting for. I am a little concerned, however, that everyone is making such a big deal about this K State game. This is just one game out of the whole season, the Valley is what counts, then the playoffs, then Frisco. If we don’t happen to win this first game, will it put a downer on the rest of the year?

    • With Perry out for the KState game. Would it be a good idea to leave him out for the non-conference home schedule to make damn sure his knee is ready for the conference? I agree, if we lose the KST game we still have the ability to go 10-1 and run the table. The hype needs to settle down a little, let the field play go and not be disappointed or over the top if we win/lose. Business baby.

  4. Has a FCS team EVER beat a top 25 FBS team? I know Kansas State is around #26 right now but close.

    “If we don’t happen to win this first game, will it put a downer on the rest of the year?” There is no way a lost to a top FBS program will slow down the three-pete march to Frisco. It will hurt for a few days, but the two programs are in two different leagues…figuratively and literally.

    • Appalachian State knocked off Michigan that was ranked number 5 in 2007, James Madison beat Virginia Tech in 2010, Hokies were ranked 13th.

      • Thanks Dom. It’s just and interesting stat considering how many FCS/FBS games are played each year. I forgot about the Michigan win but was unaware of the Hokie game.

  5. Everyone is focusing on K-State because it’s the first game of the year, followed by 2 cupcakes. You can’t look past your next opponent (in this case first opponent). Wentz will get his chance in 2 games (Ferris State and Delaware State). We should see him again against USD at home at the end of the season which should hopefully give the starters a break going into the hopeful playoffs. Win the conference this year and I believe we should see plenty of action from the backups with the 2 cakes and USD. Focus on road games and developing depth should be the focus this year. Let the seniors play their hearts out in the playoffs. I think Thorton plays special teams over PGT since he’s used to playing on Sp. Teams, but PGT will get his chances if they pull his redshirt.

  6. Regarding #10: Another impressive stat from 2012 is that NDSU rushed for a total of 3,000 yards last year between Brock, the RB’s and the WR’s end around sweeps.

  7. I’m commenting on number 11. Craig Bohl did not play Nick Mertens enough prior to giving him the reigns. If Craig has learned : this season will provide some opportunities to “rest” Brock, don’t consider it a benching : let Carson take a few test drives (automotive term) for a better 2014. Brock will need a rest and BISON NATION wants a continuation of success / victory. I personally hope this situation occurs when playing those pesky rabbits.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brock come down with some mysterious ailment or minor injury the week after the K State game allowing Wentz to play the whole game.

      • That won’t happen. Brock’s earned the right to start every game his senior season!

    • By ND Teams you mean FB and, and, and Soccer in GF? You will NOT beat ND STATE FB. IMHO.