The Shakir Bell situation: there will be no middle ground on Saturday

Anybody who saw the fourth quarter of last year’s Indiana State and NDSU football game got a taste of just how good running back Shakir Bell can be. He finished with 96 yards, but 53 of those were in the final 15 minutes when the Bison were trying to stop the Sycamores and get the ball back. The 17-14 loss would be NDSU’s only defeat all season.

Bell has sensational balance and power, one of those guys who usually requires more than one tackler to bring him down. Whether he’s good enough to play in the NFL is debatable because of his 5-foot-7 size but I’m sure he’ll get a shot.

His career ended this week and just how it did depends on what version you want to take. The team said it was because of injury. Bell tweeted he was dismissed from the team. Whatever the case, Saturday’s game is shaping up to be the following scenario: Either the Sycamores will continue the mental slide from last weekend that included a 55-14 defeat at Illinois State and lay down and die or they will come out with more gusto than ever. There will be no inbetween.

We don’t know if Bell was an attitude problem and if indeed he was booted off the team, we don’t know why. I’ve seen it many times that no matter how good a player is, teams are better off without the problems hanging around, especially in college football where emotion and momentum mean the world. I found it interesting earlier this season when ISU head coach Mike Sanford said he had to almost “recruit” Bell to come back to the team this season after the previous coach, Trent Miles, left for Georgia State.

The players may rally around the problems of the last week and come out with a new attitude. Or this game may be 63-7.

8 thoughts on “The Shakir Bell situation: there will be no middle ground on Saturday

  1. I think it equally depends on if Perish is playing QB. I have watch several of the ISU games this year. He kept them in the Purdue, Tenn. Tech, Youngstown State games, and got them out to a lead in the South Dakota game until he got hurt. The offense takes a step back without Bell but becomes down right anemic without Perish behind center. Hence the last two losses at South Dakota and beat down by Illinois State.

    I don’t think the Sycamores have the tools to win either way but I think Perish makes the difference between a 14 point or 48 point loss.

  2. The Sycamores are not a good football team with Bell and now the 5’9, 215 lb. bowling ball named Buck Logan will get the majority of the carries for ISU and there is even a debate as to whether this will be a game or not? 48 – 14…Bison in a cake walk, game will be over by the end of the first quarter.

    • I don’t think ISUb are as bad as Delaware State, which is the only team this year that the Bison have dominated in the first quarter. This Bison team are slow starters, which can be frustrating, and may come back to bite them later in the season if they play a fast-starting team like Eastern Illinois. Regardless, this game will not be over after the first quarter.

  3. Even though he is the opponent, I hate to see someone waste the talent that they have. And Shakir Bell has lots and lots of talent!

  4. With a young backup QB and no Shakir Bell I see it more as 56-0 with the Bison really taking their foot off the gas most of the second half.

  5. It would be great to see the “future” on the field. Any experience they get can’t hurt.

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