Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. 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.
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TERRE HAUTE, Ind.—North Dakota State started early, kept the hammer down through three quarters and pounded Indiana State Saturday afternoon, Oct. 7, at Memorial Stadium. It wasn't close from the get-go. Quarterback Easton Stick threw four touchdown passes and the Bison rolled the Sycamores 52-0. The win on a windy, warm and sunny day before 4,743 fans at Memorial Stadium boosted the No. 2-ranked Bison to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and kept the Sycamores winless in five games.
Terre Haute, Ind. — Pick a tight end, any tight end. It doesn't matter with the North Dakota State offense anymore. Find a guy, any guy, who is about, say 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds who can run, block and catch a pass, and just throw him in the lineup. "We have so many guys who can do so many things," said Connor Wentz, the elder statesman of the tight ends. It was the senior Wentz who put an early dagger into Indiana State on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 7, and the Bison went on a seek-and-destroy mission from there to take a 52-0 win at Memorial Stadium.
FARGO—The number crunching of note with the North Dakota State football program began in 2011 when the Bison started their run of Division I FCS national championships. The trendy one is the streak against FBS opponents, which stands at six consecutive wins. In order starting from the latest, it reads: Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Colorado State, Minnesota and Kansas. All, of course, were on the road. It's one thing to be good, it's another to be able to do it at other stadiums that draw much bigger crowds than Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
FARGO—The golf game hasn't gotten any better, but Grant Olson isn't living in Terre Haute, Ind., these days to lower his handicap. The husband of LPGA Tour player Amy (Anderson) Olson is trying to turn around the Indiana State football program as an assistant coach.
FARGO—Another Monday press conference, another knee injury to address for North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman. This one included another linebacker, too. Junior Dan Marlette is expected to miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury suffered in Saturday's 38-11 win over Missouri State, Klieman confirmed. Marlette reached the starting lineup this season for the first time in his career and Klieman said he was having an "all-conference" type of season. Marlette had two forced fumbles and was 10th on the team in tackles.
FARGO—North Dakota State turned to an old Great West Football Conference fellow member to complete its 2018 football schedule. California Poly will open the season with a Sept. 1, 2018, date at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. It will also be the first time in NDSU's Division I existence that it will have seven regular-season home games. The Bison also have nonconference games against North Alabama and Delaware and will not hit the road until an Oct. 6, 2018, conference game at Northern Iowa.
FARGO—The first sign of victory came when the lights were out and the live video of the Bison players coming out of the locker room during their "Thunderstruck" introduction was in full swing. After two steps, head coach Chris Klieman gave senior linebacker Nick DeLuca a fist bump. The significance: North Dakota State University had its best defensive player back from a knee injury.
FARGO — There probably isn't a county road in North Dakota that North Dakota State assistant football coach Randy Hedberg hasn't driven. It's his job, after all, to search all corners of the state to find the next Bison players. But in the case of five offensive linemen from rural North Dakota, even Hedberg's GPS had to be challenged in getting from Point A to Point B. Some of those Point Bs are out there. It's turned into a gold mine of sorts for NDSU football, which is making an art of taking raw, strong kids and turning them into polished college football players.
FARGO—As Division I FCS top 25 polls go, there is no such thing as an instant splash. A 4-7 team from a year ago could beat Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Ohio State the first three weeks this season and maybe, maybe, creep into the top 10.
FARGO—The ground-level apartment just off of Interstate 29 is now home for Leo and Fel Dempsey and it doesn't take long to figure out why they made the move from Lakeland, Fla. to Fargo this summer. Pictures of their only child are scattered throughout the living room and kitchen, from old school and football photos to memorabilia that pay homage to No. 3. That would be the jersey number of North Dakota State senior safety and team co-captain Tre Dempsey.