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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FRISCO, Texas—It was Friday, Jan. 5, and there were four teams still playing college football. Two of them, Georgia and Alabama, are playing for the FBS national championship next Monday in Atlanta. The other two are in Frisco. North Dakota State and James Madison will kick it off at 11 a.m. Saturday morning to decide the Division I FCS championship. Both head coaches on Friday said the FCS is the right level for their respective programs.
FRISCO, Texas—The short video made its rounds on social media, a 10-second clip that appeared to show North Dakota State offensive guard Austin Kuhnert playing doctor—to himself. The camera angle caught Kuhnert getting up from the turf at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome and walking back toward the huddle with his left arm draped in pain. Kuhnert then took his right arm, cupped his left elbow and gave it a couple tugs as to force his dislocated elbow back into place. Which is exactly what happened.
FRISCO, Texas — You see these stories around the time of the North Dakota Class B boys basketball tournament, where small towns literally shut down because everybody is at the state's biggest high school sporting event. It's only early January, but if you drive through the communities of Drake, Anamoose and Balfour this weekend, you'll probably wonder where everybody is at. Wendy Volson can tell you. Everybody is in Frisco. "Don't go and rob us now, nobody is there," she joked.
FRISCO, TEXAS — Easton Stick has sandy blonde hair and Bryan Schor has a darker shade. When it comes to the two starting quarterbacks in Saturday's Division I FCS national championship, that's one of the few differences you'll find between the two quarterbacks. They both stand 6-foot-2-inches tall with steady, strong right arms. Their names have the same number of syllables. Both are the unquestioned offensive leaders that have Stick's North Dakota State team facing Schor's James Madison team at 11 a.m. at Toyota Stadium.
FRISCO, Texas—It's turned into the tradition within the North Dakota State FCS football tradition. Once again, former players are turning out in full force for NDSU's sixth appearance in the title game and the list includes its marquee NFL players. The Bison will go through a hour walk-through practice late Friday afternoon, Jan. 5, with the first several minutes a group hug of sorts between the alums and the current players. NDSU is expecting about 250 former players.
FRISCO, Texas—The last time North Dakota State played on a grass field, Carson Wentz was improving his stock that made him the No. 2 overall draft pick in the National Football League. The scene, at Toyota Stadium in the 2015 Football Championship Subdivision title game, should look familiar to the Bison this week.
FRISCO, Texas—Like so many other plats of land in the suburbs north of Dallas, the framework of a new structure greets visitors driving in from the southern end of Toyota Stadium. In Frisco, if you're not building or renovating something, you're at least thinking about it.
FARGO—This week, RJ Urzendowski will return to the scene of perhaps the greatest one minute in the history of North Dakota State wide receivers. At the least, it was 38 seconds of drama at the highest stage of Division I FCS football. A true freshman in the 2014 title game, Urzendowski caught three passes for 78 yards in a game-winning drive that beat Illinois State 29-27 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
FARGO—North Dakota State has implemented almost its entire game plan in advance of facing James Madison University of Virginia on Saturday for the Division I FCS national championship. That includes pinpointing the best bowler on the team. Before trying to win the football game, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Michael Kelly will try to help the Bison win the bowling competition on Thursday night in the annual Great Texas Barbecue Bowl. "Big 315-pound Mike Kelly," said senior defensive tackle Nate Tanguay.
FARGO—North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman said Monday, Jan. 1, running backs Ty Brooks and Lance Dunn and cornerbacks Jalen Allison and Jaylaan Wimbush have been participating in practice. But whether that translates into the four playing in the Division FCS national championship game Saturday, Jan. 6, is unknown. Klieman turned the question into a type of cat-and-mouse game.