A Battle of the Unbeatens
No. 1 NDSU vs. No. 3 Youngstown State preview
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 16:10
Rivalries don’t necessarily have to be based off of geographic variables.
Ask any Bison fan and they will list-off the names of the universities that NDSU has the biggest beef with. Schools like the University of North Dakota, South Dakota State, Minnesota, and older fans would even include Concordia into that bunch. But since the Bison have joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference, new rivalries have emerged.
One of the new foes the Herd took care of was last week in the dump they call the UniDome. The Bison torched the Panthers 33-21 last Saturday, launching them down in the standing to a record of 1-4 and 0-2 in the conference, all but diminishing them from Conference Championship contention.
The Bison will look to do the same to another foe as the undefeated and No. 3 ranked Youngstown State Penguins come to the most intimidating stadium in all of FCS football Saturday afternoon. Coach Bohl anointed “Blue-collared program” is coming off an extra week of preparation looking to keep that record perfect, in hopes to continue their climb in the polls.
The third ranked Penguins were the only team last year able to take down the mighty Bison. But for every Bison fan, we all know what transpired next, and we hope to continue the success this weekend.
With the National Championship season and last week’s emotional victory behind us, the Bison are bringing the party back to the Fargodome. The chosen few that got their hands on homecoming tickets will be rocking in the stands as the Bison go for their ninth victory in a row.
The Bison’s top ten offense will be led by Brock Jensen who is emerging as an elite quarterback in the FCS. Jensen will be sure to bring out all the weapons against a Youngstown defense that is only allowing 19 points per game. Running back John Crockett is coming off a heck of a week himself, being named Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Newcomer of the Week. Crockett amassed a career high 122 rushing yards on his way to a two-touchdown performance.
The Penguins will be attempting to counter with a high-powered offense of their own. YSU is averaging nearly 41 points a game and will likely be a tough test against a vulnerable Bison secondary.
The Bison defense allowed a season high 213 passing yards last Saturday against UNI, which may not seem like a cause for concern, but they are going to have to tighten it up against a potent Penguin passing game.
Junior quarterback Kurt Hess leads the FCS in passing efficiency and has a Jensen-like skill set that will keep the Bison defense busy all afternoon. Hess also has weapons around him in receivers, being Will Shaw and Andrea Stubbs, who are more than capable of taking the top off the defense.
Coach Craig Bohl won’t let his defense forget about running back Jamaine Cook. Coach explained him as “elusive…and not afraid to put his foot down and run you over.”
The Bison will have another challenge this weekend just as big as conference implications. What is becoming somewhat of a rivalry in this part of town will witness two great programs going head-to-head in a game that will be sure to live up to the hype.
As Bohl put it in his press conference, “At the end of Saturday, only one will still be standing.”