Bison Football by Ed Kolpack

Bison Football

Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence

After reading “Horns Up” by Jeff Kolpack, I really wanted to read “Bison Football” by his father Ed Kolpack. This summer I was looking at my parents’ NDSU Yearbooks. The ‘Bison’ football team during those years 1955-1962 were terrible. Really, really bad. How did the ‘Bison’ start to win? How did they get to the Division II championship. And how did they repeat so many times. Mr. Kolpack explains it all in this book, and also sets the foundation for the insights in his son’s book.

The book follows a template: Each chapter is a year in the NDSU ‘Bison’ football program. It starts with any news occurring before the season starts: recruiting, conference news, rule changes, and often a coach change. Then Kolpack reviews each game in the season. This is followed by the post-season coverage. Because the ‘Bison’ were so successful there are many further games to write about. The chapters are completed by human interest stories on the players, coaches, Team Makers, or the University.

Ed Kolpack was the sport writer for the Fargo Forum. I wonder how much of this material was re-purposed from the newspaper, because it reads like it. Especially the game coverage- the weakest part of the book. There is nothing duller than reading about games stats from forty years ago. Worse still, it jumps around inside the game, so you read about the same play more than once. I found it very distracting. He needs an editor. The game coverage needed to be cut down, and reordered. A team roster for each year would be helpful too. At least the starters.

The book is a fine reference work for Bison fans and it is fun to look through with photos of the coaches and star players. I grew up with the ‘Bison’ during the years Mr. Kolpack covers 1963-1992. I followed the ‘Bison’, but not seriously at the time. I personally knew some of the athletes listed in the book. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, and to find a used copy is expensive. Maybe one of Kolpack’s kids will revise it. There is a gap between 1992-2003 where Ed leaves off and Jeff starts. Then there is the entire 1894-1962 era.

C
250 pages

Excepts from Bison Football

Preface

Myrna inherited a team that had lost all 10 of its games the previous season. Assembled an upstanding coaching staff that turn these 0 – 10 into a 24–6 record over three years. Included were 10 – 1 and 11 – 0 seasons that led to two postseason bowl games.
page 5

Bison Football: In The Beginning

“I was a freshman when they were all oh and ten,” Mike Cichy. “That was 1962 – 600 at the homecoming game. Freshmen couldn’t play (on the varsity) then and I was fortunate that I missed that great season. ” page 7

1963

To say something positive about Mudra, he didn’t know a thing about football, and he knew it. So he let the assistants, Nystrom and Erhardt, do what they wanted to. And he took care of Team Makers. He was probably a better athletic director than he was a coach.
“Mudra did recognize His limitations tactically. Earhart ran the defense and Nystrom ran the offense. Mudra tried to coach the secondary during my sophomore year and we got beat deep a lot, and the next year he brought in Walt Weaver. Those three guys revolutionize football in the state.
Page 8

1964

The Western State Mountaineers of Gunnison, Colo., were invited to face the Bison in the 16th Mineral Bowl game. Western was a two-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference champion and posted a 9–0 record during the regular season.
An estimated 6,000 fans watched the Bison score two first-half touchdowns en route to a 14–13 victory and a 10–1 season mark. Airheart scored both touchdowns and was named most valuable player.
Page 13

1965

The first time in Mudra’ 3 years as bison coach that he was able to field separate offense and defensive units.
Page 14

1966

It was obvious early in the game – played before 35,342 fans in Balboa Stadium – that San Diego State had too many guns.
“We played what was probably the best college team I’ve ever seen,” said Linderman. “We were hurting. Rota had cracked ribs and Belmont got hurt early in the game.”
Page 23

Nystrom said, “..But we caused our own problem. If we were going to play them we should have said, OK, we’ll play you, but you come to North Dakota, which would have been great for our fans. ”
Page 25

1967

North Dakota state rebounded from the 8 – 2 campaign with a vengeance, winning all nine of its regular-season games before falling in the Pecan Bowl at Abilene, Texas.
The 1967 Bison won their fourth straight conference title. They finished second in two wire service polls. They outscored nine opponents 353 to 98. They led all college division teams in rushing with 299.6 – yard average and were fourth in Total Defense. They were first in all 7 NCC statistical departments.
Page 27

Wisconsin – Milwaukee was still on the schedule and the Bison got fat in a 71–0 romp. It was the most NDSU since a 123–6 win over Wahpeton Indians in 1912. The Bison total 591 yards, with 500 coming on the ground. Mjos ran for his school record 177 yards and Rota bagged all of his 136 yards in the first half. Hanson scored the first touchdown of his three-year Varsity career. Defensively, the Bison intercepted five passes. Five Milwaukee players were hospitalized after the game. None of the injuries was serious.
Page 28

The 1967 loss was only a temporary setback at North Dakota State. People like Carl Rorvig and Roy Pedersen would not allow one loss become a plague.
Herb Albrecht and Darrell Mudra, rightfully, are credited with reviving the Bison football program. But there were others working in the background. While the coaches and players supplied the manpower, there was a definite need for financial support.
The Team Makers Club stepped into this vacuum. “We started talking about it in 1949,” said Rorvig, then a Fargo businessman and a Hall of Famer at NDSU. “It all started when Ernie Wheeler (a former Bison athlete) and I went out for a cup of coffee. We were talking about our times and how tough it was to get through school without scholarships.
”I said to Ernie, ‘Somebody’s gotta do something for these athletes. What do you think about the idea of organizing a group to raise money for scholarships, and nothing else?’
“At that time they had the Quarterback Club, and all they did was meet every Friday and talk about what was wrong with the football team and the coaches. We made the decision never to do anything but raise money for scholarships – that’s all, and never interfere with coaches.”
Rorvig figured the one person the Team Makers Club needed was Pedersen, “because he’s got more damn ideas and he’s able to show us how to do it.”
The shock that hit Pedersen, promotion manager at WDAY, was the 0–9 season in 1949 under Coach Howard Bliss.
Pedersen, Rorvig and Wheeler were the original incorporators. The club’s goals were to (1) raise sufficient funds to furnish football scholarships; (2) trigger community support in terms of attendance and (3) rally contractors to furnish players summer jobs.

page 31

1969

South Dakota State stood in the way of the Herd’s third consecutive unbeaten season. The Bison had already clinched a record six straight North Central conference title. The third goal was another postseason bowl game. They escaped with a 20–13 win at Brookings, SD.
Page 45

Arguments persist to this day over where to rate the 1969 Club against other great Bison teams. The 1969 team established or tie 27 records that’s one claim to fame. Opposing coaches showed respect by naming 10 Bison to the all-conference team.
Page 46

Marv Mortenson was a standout wrestler and football lineman who transferred to North Dakota State from Minnesota.
“I don’t know if I can give you a simple answer as to why I came up here,” he said. “I think the thing that explains it best was this: When we started football at Minnesota, of course, no one knew anybody so you put your name on your helmet. So you put your last name on your helmet. When I came up here in the fall of ’67 and played with the freshmen, basically, you put your name on your helmet, too. But you put your first name on your helmet.”
Mortenson said the people made North Dakota State. “It wasn’t football. It wasn’t coaches. You went to the food service and you were treated well. You weren’t treated special, but you were treated like all the other students. I never was treated badly, from the registrar’s office right down.
”I had a lot of respect for Ron Erhardt. He was very, very driven in his goals. He treated all his athletes well. He maybe wasn’t as warm and friendly a guy as you would want him to be.
“Even though he treated me well I always felt in the back of my mind that, if need be, anybody could be sacrificed for the betterment of the program. Maybe I got that feeling because I believe they should have dumped Paul Hatchett.
page 48

“Erhardt had this thing about starters,” said Cichy. “You really had to screw up bad a couple of times in a row before he would jerk you.
”It was a love-hate relationship. Those kids today are a lot more emotional. They believe in Bison tradition. When we played we didn’t have Bison tradition.
“We always had confidence that we were going to be better prepared. I remember those Camellia Bowls we played in. We were laughing. We knew that they were going to be so thoroughly out-coached that all we had to do was go out and execute.
”Boy, he was sarcastic. I can still call Twardy up and say over the phone, something like this, ‘Shit, Twardy, we can’t play with people like you. And we won’t either.’ And he will just crack up. And you could insert anyone’s name and that was Erhardt’s line.
page 51

Mike Cichy said, “..One of the things that bugged the cynical guys was he would hit us with this Bison pride and tradition. Hell, the tradition was 4 years old. ”
Page 52

1970

After the Bison pushed the score to 60–14 with less than a minute left, the Gold Star Marching Band struck up “California Here We Come.” They were words to live by as North Dakota State awaited a repeat bid to the Camellia Bowl.
Page 57

1971

There were a couple of missing links in Bentson’s Senior year. He was injured midway through the season and he never full recovered.
“I separated my shoulder in the Augustana game – a week before the Sioux game,” said Bentson. “They (UND) had a real fine ball club that year.”
Over the years that Erhardt was on the Bison staff there was special security around Dacotah Field the week of the UND game. Closed practices were common. Coaches were on the lookout for spies.
The paranoia reached the ridiculous stage when Er6ardt had backup quarterback Dale May wear Bentson’s No. 3 jersey at practice. The aim was to convince the Sioux that Bentson had recovered from his injury.
It didn’t work. Bentson didn’t play and North Dakota won.
Page 61

1973

Erhardt left future Bison coaches something to shoot at. During his seven years as head coach at NDSU his team’s won 61 games, lost seven and tied one. His .897 mark was the top winning percentage in all of college football at the time. Four of his seven losses were in his last two years. He coached six North Central Conference Championship teams and had three undefeated seasons.
Page 73

1975

It was the first game on Dacotah Field’s new artificial turf.
Page 86

“My job is to win the North Central Conference title,” said Wacker. “That’s my goal.
”It appears our immediate needs are offensive linemen and defensive backs. Every year you need a freshman quarterback. My feeling is that you win with good athletes – athletes who have ability in other sports. We will recruit heavily in this area of North Dakota and Minnesota. But I wouldn’t mind having some southern burners.“
Besides enthusiasm, Wacker brought the veer offense to NDSU. Erhardt had used versions of the veer at times. But Wacker and his successors refined it to the stage where it drove opposing coaches crazy.
In a book co-authored by Wacker and Don Morton, the veer is called ”a balanced running and passing attack that can score from any place on the field.“
Basically, the veer offers three running options for the quarterback. He can hand off to one of two running backs – the dive play. He can fake the inside veer and pitch to a running back. Or he can keep the ball and run himself. Another option, of course, is the pass.
”The threat of the pass must be present in order for you to have a completely sound offense,“ say the authors. ”More than any other offense, the veer lends itself exceptionally well to the play-action passing game.“
Over the years Bison coaches have pretty much ignored the pass in the veer attack. Instead of passing quarterbacks, NDSU recruiters are looking for quarterbacks who can run and can quickly diagnose defenses. The . ability to ”read” defensive formations is critical.
page 89

1977

Speral’s hot hand at Augustana earned the Fargo freshman the starting assignment against the North Dakota Sioux. It marked the first time in 14 games Campbell did not get the starting call. Wacker indicated no displeasure in Campbell’s performance. Rather, it was apparent neither Wacker nor Campbell could hold off Speral any longer.
Nor could the Sioux hold off Speral in the Herd’s 45–20 victory in the homecoming game. Here’s what Speral accomplished in his first starting role:

  • Tied a school and conference record with five touchdowns.
  • Rushed for 153 net yards, the most ever by a Bison quarterback (Three years later he rushed for 213 yards, the high mark for a quarterback.)
  • Added 96 yards with four pass completions for a total offense of 249 yards.
  • Sparked NDSU to 465 yards rushing and 565 total yards.

One thing North Dakota did not want was to get into a scoring race with the Bison. The Sioux put their hopes on the best scoring defense in the conference which had allowed 7.3 points a game.
Speral didn’t give them much choice. On third down in the first NDSU series he raced 60 yards for a touchdown. His other four touchdowns came on runs of 4 yards and less.
“That first run by Speral was what did it,” said UND coach Jerry Olson. “They just came out and whipped us. They just blew us off the line.”
The Bison never let up. While posting a 31–7 halftime lead they rolled up 331 yards on the ground and had a 13–3 edge in first downs. Speral had plenty of offensive help. Sprattler gained 148 yards and Baudry had 117, giving the Bison three 100-yard runners.
Speral bagged his fifth touchdown midway in the third period and he appeared in position to get a record-breaking sixth. Wacker called Speral’s number four straight times inside the North Dakota 10 late in the game. The last play, from the 3, was a bad pitch by Speral and resulted in a 14-yard loss. Campbell was in for only two series and did not return after losing a fumble.
The only bright spot for the Sioux was Pat Wacker. He caught seven passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Speral was quick to spread the accolades in the postgame interview.
“It doesn’t matter how many touchdowns I score or how many yards I gain,” he said. “What matters is the team and how it does. I’m happy we did so well today. Yes, I guess you can consider five touchdowns a pretty good performance.
”How do I deal with the attention? That’s easy. It’s my job. You can’t do much without good linemen in front of you and good backs to hand the ball off to. But it wasn’t Mark Speral who won this football game. It was a team victory.“ After scoring eight touchdowns himself and guiding his team to 75 points in two games, there was little doubt about identifying the Bison’s starting quarterback.
”It’s tough keeping all our quarterbacks happy,“ conceded coach Wacker. ”It puts the pressure on them. It’s a good problem for a coach. Their maturity will help see them through when they aren’t playing. We have to go with the hottest quarterback.
“I felt the pressure for Mark (Speral). Making his first start as a freshman in front of a home-town crowd and against our biggest rival. That’s tough. But I wasn’t surprised by his performance. With his quickness and size, he’s an ideal quarterback for our veer offense.”
Before the season started Wacker said he did not want to start freshmen and he wanted to play sophomores only sparingly.
“You win with juniors and seniors,” said the NDSU coach.
But Speral wouldn’t wait.
page 99

An estimated 2,200 die-hard fans showed up at Dacotah Field to watch NDSU beat Northern Michigan 20–6 in the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs. The temperature was 7 degrees at kickoff.
Northern Michigan got the message on the Wildcats’ first offensive play. Bison defensive tackle Dirk Kreeze pinned fullback Randy Awrey for a 3-yard loss and the defense never let up.
Kroeze and friends had another banner day in a continuation of the Bison’s skin-tight defensive play. In four straight games NDSU had allowed 21 points.
The guy Northern Michigan remembered most was Don Hutson. The 6-foot–4, 218-pound junior linebacker intercepted a pass, batted down another and recovered two tumbles.
The Bison, beating Northern Michigan for the second time in the 1977 campaign, were up against Steve Mariucci – probably the premier quarterback in Division II. Mariucci passed for 240 yards. But the NDSU defense made him pay. In nine previous games Mariucci was sacked 12 times. The Bison got to him six times in the playoff game.
“We knew we had to put pressure on their quarterback,” said Wacker. “There were two things we were willing to give up – the draw and the screen pass.”
page 100–101

1980

Nellermore, who led NDSU rushers with 84 yards, replaced Speral in the first half. Speral suffered severely bruised shoulder but returned in the fourth quarter. A pass interference penalty and a fumbled punt set up the Herd’s first two touchdowns. They scored the clinching third touchdown in the third quarter. Speral flipped a 3-yard pass to Ray Tidd to cap a 74-yard drive that consumed 13 plays and 7 1/2 minutes.
Page 119

1982

Preparation was the name of the game on defense for the 1982 North Dakota State team. Dan Borgenheimer, the defensive captain, pointed to the preliminary work done by his coaches.
“They look at film and analyze the plays,” said Borgenheimer. “We look at the film, too. Then the coaches set up the offense the scout team will use against us. The guys on the scout team do a heckuva job.”
If that sounds simple, it isn’t.
“A few teams have surprised us,” said Borgenheimer. “So we have to adjust. We do that right on the sidelines with coaches Solomonson and Engle. They use a chalk board and tell us, ‘This is what’s hurting us.”’
Earle Solomonson was the defensive line coach and Phil Engle handled the linebackers. They were on the field while defensive coordinator Mike Daly was spotting from the press box.
Page 141

1983

The Bison always manage to find a quarterback. Going back to the 1960s the roll-call reads like this: Terry Hanson, Bruce Grasamke, Mike Bentson, Don Siverson, Mark Speral, Mark Nellermoe. Now it was Jeff Bentrim’s turn. The sturdy freshman had indicated he wanted a four-year contract to handle the NDSU veer.
Page 152

1985

It was bound to happen. A coach who could produce that margin of excellence was certain to be in demand by universities which had more to offer than North Dakota State.
Don Morton resigned as NDSU coach March 25, 1985. He accepted an offer to become the new coach at Tulsa University, a Division 1-A school.
Morton took some outstanding credentials to Tulsa, along with four of his assistant coaches. He had the highest winning percentage of all active coaches in NCAA Division II. He had a career record of 57–15, all at NDSU, for a winning percentage of .792. His Bison won the national Division II title in 1983 and were finalists in 1981 and 1984.
Also leaving Fargo with Morton were four of his assistants – Pat Simmers, Phil Engle, Craig Bohl and Ken Ellett. Another former assistant coach, Mike Daly, left the staff at Idaho State to rejoin Morton.
“I did have an interest in the Bison job,” said Daly, and I called Ade Sponberg (NDSU athletic director) when I heard Mort might move. I weighed both things, not that I was offered the job, and I felt that Mort’s thing was sure. I’ve had a goal to get to Division L”
That left only Earle Solomonson, the Bison defensive coordinator, at North Dakota State. Three weeks later Solomonson was named to succeed Morton.
Page 168

Besides several talented athletes, Solomonson had another advantage going into his first season as head coach. Tradition. Morton, Jim Wacker and Ron Earhardt also benefited from the groundwork laid 20 years earlier by Darrell Mudra.
Page 170

1986

Success breeds success. It may also mean you will lose outstanding coaches.
It started in 1965 at North Dakota State. Darrell Mudra had just finished his third and most successful season as coach of the Bison. He had a chance to move up. So he became head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
Mudra’s leaving allowed Ron Erhardt, an assistant, to become head coach in 1966. Erhardt’s seven years were the most successful (61–7–1) in NDSU football history.
Because he was a winner, Erhardt had a chance to move up. He joined the staff of the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Later, he became New England’s head coach.
Ev Kjelbertson took over in 1973. His 17–13 won-lost record – despite two North Central Conference titles in three years – did not measure up to past achievements. So Kjelbertson resigned under pressure following a 2–7 season in 1975.
Enter Jim Wacker. His enthusiasm, to go with two NCC titles in three years, caught the attention of Texas people. He left Fargo for Southwest Texas State, then on to Texas Christian and Minnesota in the big time.
Don Morton was on the NDSU staff and Wacker’s logical successor. Morton led the Bison to new heights: four conference titles, three appearances in the NCAA title game and one national Division II championship in six years. With those figures, there was no keeping Morton in Fargo. He went to Division I-AA Tulsa and, after two years, up the ladder to Division I-A Wisconsin.
Then it was Earle Solomonson’s turn. After winning two national titles and 24 games in two seasons, he couldn’t resist a call from Division I-AA Montana State.
Sitting in the catbird’s seat now is Rocky Hager. In five years he has claimed two national and three NCC crowns.
Page 191–192

1988

NDSU dominated North Central Conference statistics in 1988, finishing first in 4 of 8 categories. The Bison live in rushing offense, gaining 3,317 yards and averaging 368.6 yards per game. They were first in total offense with a record 4294 yards. They had the best scoring average of 37.9 points. Defensively, the Bison led in rushing, holding 9 opponents to an average of 108.9 yards. They were 8th in passing offense, but they had the best completion percentage of .642. Simdon was the scoring champion, averaging 12.3 points, and he was second in rushing. Simdon, Lloyd and Satter were 2–3–4 in rushing behind St. Cloud State’s Harry Jackson.
Page 209

The Bison proved to some folks in Florida that they weren’t playing “Piggly Wiggly State” in their march to the Division II title.
Central Florida University challenged NDSU early in the 1988 season. When the Bison were named No. 1 in the polls, Central Florida quarterback Shane Willis suggested that the Herd played “teams like Piggly Wiggly State.” The story was written by Brian Schmitz in the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. It evoked this response by reader Glen Stanley of Mount Dora, Fla.
“Central Florida had a very poor season, not even making it to the regional playoffs,” wrote Stanley in a letter Lo the Sentinel. “North Dakota State was 13–0 (Stanley missed one game) and defeated Portland State for the Division II national title.
”Schmitz knew very little about the team he was belittling. North Dakota State has an excellent football program, winning the national title four times in the last six years. In the name of good journalism, he should have checked this out. Whatever happened to who, what, when and where?
Page 212–213

1989

An unhappy Hager had some unkind words for his troops.
“OK men,” said Hager. “Take a hard look at this football game. Take a hard look at a lot of things. By George, we’ve got to stop making mistakes that stop offensive drives. We can’t leave the ball lay on the ground. (NDSU had four turnovers.)”
Hager paused. The room was silent.
“And when in the thunder are we all going to play hard for 60 minutes?” he said, louder and angrier.
“When you seconds (reserves) go in, it doesn’t mean the ball game is over. You guys have to rise to the challenge and make something happen. It’s a bunch of bank when we can’t take a team out.
”Far you firsts (starters), when you go out, it doesn’t mean you’re done for the day.
“It’s time this football team takes itself over the hump. No one else is going to take it. We’ve got to take it ourselves. It’s time you choose to make a difference, to make a difference. It’s time we wake up. I’ve said it a hundred times, nothing happens by accident.
”Let’s take a hard look at ourselves, men. We will do the same as a coaching staff. I know we can do better.”
Page 219

Northern Michigan open the Bison season for the 10th straight year. But this year the Wildcats played one game ahead of the NDSU opener. Northern Michigan’s 24–22 win over North Dakota was no big surprise to Hager. “One thing,” said the Bison coach, “the Wildcats always are cranked up to play us. It’s going to be a dogfight.”
Page 215

The impact was felt from Tacoma to Shippensburg to Davis to Vermilion to Jacksonville to McAllen to Florence. Dacotah Field in Fargo was the home base. North Dakota State’s football team and thousands of boosters were there. Clearly, the Bison were the team of the decade. The numbers are there for any NCAA division II team to challenge: four national championships – in 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1988. Two runner-up finishes, in 1981 and 1984. Seven North Central Conference titles. As glittering as those numbers are, it could have been better. Troy (Alabama) State edged the Herd 18 – 17 on a 50-yard field goal on the last play of the 1984 title game. That prevented a four-year sweep of the national championship.
Page 224

1990

Spring practice ended with a bang. Five Bison players were arrested for organizing a giant beer bust in rural Cass County. Pleading guilty to selling alcohol without a license and contributing to the delinquency of minors were Chris Simdorn, Mike Riggs, Phil Hansen, Tony Satter and Chris Kilen. County Judge Frank Racek fined each player $50, place them on 6 months supervised probation and ordered each to pay $50 in probation costs. An estimated 500 to 700 were involved in the beer party.
Page 226

It was just a matter of time. North Dakota State used most of the first quarter to figure out the North Dakota defense. When that problem was solved there was no stopping the Bison in their march to a 42–14 victory over the Sioux. The 10th straight win for NDSU over the Sioux clench the Herd’s 21st Conference Championship in the last 27 years. And it was the 10th time the Bison ended the regular season unbeaten.
Page 230

This was Hager’s pregame speech before the 1990 title game:
“It’s been a long time, men. You have worked hard. You have the opportunity to play for the national championship. Because of that hard work you people belong here.
”It will take all 52 in here, deciding to make a difference. It will take all 52 of you.
“We belong here. They don’t think we’re very damn good. I don’t know why. It comes down to 52 young men in this room coming out and proving to them they belong here. It comes down to the Bison choosing to make a difference, executing on offense, executing on defense and the special teams, whatever it may be.
”You come out on the field and you come off the ball and you smack them and you knock them on their ass! “You play with the low pads. Don’t hold a single thing back. Be totally exhausted. Lay everything on the line for a full 60 minutes. Choose to make a difference. Choose to make a Bison difference.
”I love you men. We have one thing left to do.”
Page 234

1991

New Colorado was next on the Bison schedule. Coach Joe Glenn was gearing his Bears for another “fistfight” in the North Central Conference. Glenn noted that NDSU was leading the conference in passing. “With them finding a passing game is like The Flintstones finding the microwave,” said Glenn.

Glenn said it was the biggest win of his career. “Like I told our players all week, ‘Hey, God’s coming to town to play us,’” said Glenn. “After the game I said, ‘Hey, we beat God.’”.
Page 239

There wasn’t much suspense in the Mankato State first-round playoff game. It lasted only the few seconds it took Jurell Simmons to run 49 yards with the opening kickoff at Dacotah Field.
“I looked up and half their team was out on the field celebrating,” said Bison defensive tackle Brian Sweeney. “They were fired up.”
The Mavericks’ 27–7 win handed NDSU its first opening-round loss in 12 Division II playoff appearances.
It didn’t get any better for Bison boosters as their defending national champions went under. For the first time in 15 years the Bison lost a playoff game at home.
And for only the fourth time in 75 games NDSU lost at Dacotah Field. Three of those defeats came against Mankato State.
Page 242

1992

I think it is very proactive for NDSU to be looking at Division I, not only for what is happening now but for our future. Cutbacks in the NCAA is a three-part area. One, we’re looking at where Division II is now and what the future looks like. The second area is how to strengthen Division II. The third area is to see how feasible it is to be in Division I.
Page 244

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One Response to Bison Football by Ed Kolpack

  1. Pingback: Horns Up by Jeff Kolpack | Cold Read

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