No need to panic
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 15:09
A friend of mine posted this on my Facebook Timeline the other day.
“Colorado State victory came at a cost. Heagle out for the season with an ACL injury, Marcus Island out for two weeks with knee surgery, Garrett Bruhn is out for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, Derrick Lang is out with a chest injury, Beck had court on Tuesday for a minor consumption and running from police. Could anything else get worse for NDSU this season?”
The Bison have had several strokes of bad luck this season. For how early it is in the season makes it difficult to believe it can get any worse. The blunt truth is that it can, but it is very doubtful. At 2-0, the Bison football team is too focused and too determined to allow anything to get in their way of another championship run.
In a crazy year thus far, let’s give credit where credit is due.
Brock Jensen has been playing like the quarterback we need him to be. In my first column I hinted at the notion that he needed to make “the leap” this year, meaning he needs to go from being a good quarterback to one of the greats of all-time.
And he’s been successful in doing so with little support from his receivers. Jensen is still at an impressive 65 percent completion rate, but it should be somewhere in the 70s after countless, key drops in the CSU game. The Bison wide-outs have been the most inconsistent players on this team and need to start helping Jensen out more, especially against those scrappy Missouri Valley defenses lingering in the Bison schedule.
Consistency has never been an issue for the Bison running game. Sam Ojuri is playing the way we all expected him to, and I think he is a real candidate for the Walter Payton Trophy Award: the award handed to the most impressive offensive player in the FCS. With John Crockett backing him up, the Bison have another great one-two punch in the backfield. Sounds oddly familiar, no?
We can’t forget about the “rams” upfront. Our offensive line introduced two new faces to the starting five with Josh Colville and Joe Haeg. Both have played outstanding along with returning starters Billy Turner, Joe Lund and Tyler Gimmstad making way for our running game that just so happens to be averaging 211 yards a game, good enough to crack the FCS top 25 again.
It’s tough to get much better defensively after the 2011 squad played nearly perfect the whole season. But the 2012 defense hasn’t missed a beat.
In this pass-happy era of football, having talented defensive backs is an absolute must. Our playmakers in the secondary have stepped up to the challenge this year ranking in the top 10 in passing defense only allowing a jaw-dropping 87 yards a game. With Marcus Williams likely to miss the Prairie View A&M game and Colton Heagle done for the year, Bison fans shouldn’t get caught up in the loss of experience. I expect senior Bobby Ollman to come in and fill the void with Heagle gone. Brendin Pierre and senior Andre’ Martin Jr. will make a fine replacement for Williams at corner.
I commented back on my friends post saying I still like our chances for the reasons listed above. The Bison have played well among the distractions so far, keeping their heads pointed in one direction. I guarantee Coach Bohl will keep it that way from here on out. No need to panic, Bison Nation.