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Jensen close to record

North Dakota State needs two victories in its final three regular-season games to put Brock Jensen in some rather elite FCS company. He’s two wins shy from tying the division’s all-time record for most wins by a quarterback.

Jensen has 41 heading into today’s home game against Illinois State. He is tied with Eric Ward of Richmond from 2006-09.

Armanti Edwards of Appalachian State has the record of 43 set in those same years.

“Obviously, that’s very humbling,” Jensen said. “It’s an honor to be mentioned with those guys but you know what, I haven’t though much about it. I’m just worried about these Redbirds and getting prepared for these guys.”

Jensen is 40-5 as NDSU’s starting quarterback plus another win in 2010 when he came off the bench against Morgan State (Md.). A win today and Jensen will tie J.R. Revere of Georgia Southern, who had 42 wins from 1998-01.

Jensen is NDSU’s career leader in pass completions, attempts and yards and has the total offense record of 8,226 yards.

Unlike last year, he’s maintained his efficiency, currently completing 67 percent of his passes on 119 of 178. He has 17 touchdowns against just four interceptions.

“A lot of hard work goes into it with all the summer workouts that we do,” Jensen said. “It’s the timing with receivers and the tight ends getting into the mix. The backs are doing a good job running and the offensive line has done an awesome job giving me the time that I need.”

Minor injury no big deal for Bison running back Crockett

NDSU running back John Crockett said a strain in his hip was a little inconvenient last week. At least he doesn’t have to carry the load for the rushing attack.

Senior Sam Ojuri has 109 carries and Crockett 107 in the two-back tailback system aimed at keeping both players in better health late in the season.

“We’re both able to take on the load,” Crockett said. “We also know when it’s time to take on hits and when it’s time to avoid people. You have to learn how to play running back in this league.

South Dakota State’s Zach Zenner leads the Missouri Valley in rushing attempts with 212 – more than 100 more than Ojuri and Crockett. Jackrabbits head coach John Stiegelmeier said a couple of weeks ago that the hits are taking a toll on Zenner.

“It’s a long grind,” Crockett said. “Every week we’re going against some of the top teams in the nation. They’re no jokes. You want to show your best effort every time you step on the field and having a two-back system makes it where we’re both ready to go.”

Illinois State sophomore back steps into starting role

Illinois State’s Marshaun Coprich is third in the Missouri Valley in total carries with 171. He played a little bit as a true freshman last year, but has taken over as the main ballcarrier this season.

A little maturity has gone a long way, said Redbirds head coach Brock Spack. Coprich is from Victorville, Calif., and the distance factor isn’t always easy.

“When you deal with a young person that comes from far away to go to school, that’s a part of it,” Spack said. “You don’t think about that as a fan or even sometimes as a younger coach, but as an older coach, you know these guys go through a transition phase.”

Coprich is sixth in the league, averaging 81.8 yards per game. He’s the only one of the top three ISU running backs that is healthy.

“Thank god he’s playing well and doing a good job,” Spack said. “I’d like to have a couple more backs.”

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.