FOOTBALL LOOKS TO KEEP SEASON ROLLING WITH HOME OPENER
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 16:09
The echoes of silence can still be heard in Manhattan, Kan., that was a result of the NSDU Bison coming to town and upsetting Kansas State, the returning Big 12 champions.
However, as all of NDSU knows, the march is on.
Saturday at 4 p.m., the Bison will go up against Ferris State at the Fargodome. And for NDSU head coach Craig Bohl and his team, there’s no time for celebration.
“The thing that’s more dangerous than a team that doesn’t think they can win, is a team that doesn’t think they can lose,” Bohl said. “We’ve got to make sure we stay grounded.”
Bohl is also stressing the importance of preparation on the practice field and in the film room. While he is familiar with second-year FSU head coach Tony Annese, Bohl said there are still many unknowns to a team who will start many new faces and that have yet to play a game to put on film.
“Ferris State provides some challenges offensively, multi-schemes and all kinds of things running and throwing,” Bohl said. “On defensive, there’s a lot of unknowns.”
Despite not having much game tape to study, NDSU is still aware of what it needs to do to win. Bohl said the key to the game isn’t getting an early start or getting the crowd involved in the game.
The key is execution.
“They’re a pretty talented football team,” Bohl said. “They’ve got some new players coming in with good athleticism. They had a winning record last year and we need to be prepared to go out and play well.”
Ferris State, a Division II school, will return five All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference players this season – including quarterback Jason Vander Laan. Bohl said the Bulldogs are a team that the Bison need to worry about to avoid losing an upset of their own.
“As coaches, we’ve been working hard and taking advantage of the extra day that we have because we needed it,” he said.
Redshirts flying off will be a story to watch in the game. Though linebackers Pierre Gee-Tucker and Nick DeLuca already have their redshirt title removed, Bohl hinted there could be more to come this weekend.
“We’re going to take a hard look at playing (running back Chase Morlock) this weekend,” Bohl said.
Are there any more freshman getting a look?
“Not right now,” he said.
After coming off an injury and one-game suspension, defensive tackle Leevon Perry will be cleared to play on Saturday.
The major loss to the equation that equaled a KSU loss will be backup cornerback and stout special teams player Jordan Champion, who may miss 2-4 weeks. Though, as things stand now, Bohl said he and his team feel confident going into the Fargodome on Saturday.
“We’ve got a very seasoned team and very mature football team,” he said. “I think we’ve got good, solid character. That’s not a 100 percent safeguard from letdowns, but I think our guys recognize what opportunity is out there.”