The Battle for North Dakota

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This Saturday the Bison will take on University of North Dakota in the heated in-state rival.

North Dakota State is favored in this game but it is not a given for either team.

Below are three keys to the game for an NDSU blowout or a UND upset on Goliath.

NDSU:

  1. Tempo: The Bison need to control this game. The offense must be ran at its own pace and make UND uncomfortable on defensive. They must pound the rock like they are used to and make UND’s defense stay on the football field for long periods of time.
  2. Turnovers: This game should be a breeze if the Bison can win the turnover battle. Look for the Bison to run it down UND’s throats followed by play-action passes to keep the Grand Forks team guessing.
  3. Solid Defense: NDSU needs to control the line of scrimmage against UND. This will allow blitzes to be more effective, and it will make it easier for the defensive backs to cover. NDSU needs to keep everything in front of them and swarm the ball.

UND:

  1. Special Teams: The Bison are fundamentally sounds in all aspects of its game, but if UND can make a splash play or two on special teams, it could easily turn the game into the favor of the away team. It is a lot easier to trick the Bison than to out play them, and UND will need all the momentum they can get in the loud, harsh environment of the Fargodome.
  2. Quarterback Play: With all the noise and distractions, UND’s sophomore quarterback Keaton Studsrud will have to be a true team leader. He needs to be sharp in his mind and quick on his feet; it is also important for him to keep his team focused and prepared for anything.
  3. Luck: UND will have to out work and out play NDSU for them to pull this upset off. Next, they could use a little luck. If UND could catch a lucky break and start the game with a turnover or a defensive touchdown, it could change the whole structure of the game.

X-Factor:

Carson Wentz: If Bison senior quarterback can take care of the ball and make consistent, accurate throws, the Bison will steamroll its in-state rival. However, if UND can get after him and make him flustered and hurry his throws making him uncomfortable in the pocket, the game could be completely different.

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