• Preseason thoughts and the Kansas State game...

    1 week until the kickoff of the 2013 season and Kansas State is on the table, The Bison are deservedly ranked #1 in every poll for FCS. Speaking of polls, who the hell voted for Eastern Kentucky as the best team in FCS? I know some people are homers but when you have team that just won the National title for the second time in a row that has 18+ starters back (10 from the statistical best defense in FCS) a vote for Eastern Kentucky just seams stupid. While we are at it, how the hell did SHSU garner five first place votes in the coaches poll? They lost a ton of guys on defense and some steady offensive guys also. I like SHSU, but to vote them over NDSU after the ass kicking they received in January doesn't add up.

    Kansas State is predicted to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 12. The Kansas state fans say that they are perennially ranked low every preseason. I have to say that I agree with the experts on this one due to the fact that they are going to have to replace most of the defense from the 2012 team. The only question on offense is who is going to be the starting QB and how much of a drop off is it going to be from last season Big 12 MVP Collin Klein. I found it amusing when I read that some posters from KSU think that they will be better off without Klein. We shall see.

    When I looked at some of the games that Kansas State won last season, I saw a pattern of them pulling away in the second half. Many times the games were relatively close at half. This is one factor that I think may play in favor of the Bison in respect of defensive adjustments. Even though Kansas State has more players to utilize, they still are putting a lot of guys on the field for the first time in a starting / leadership role on defense. NDSU isn't going to have this problem as most every starter has played in numerous games and have big game playoff experience. How do you beat a team that is supposed to have better players? Play better as a team and be assignment sound.

    I was watching a replay of the FCS championship game and one of the announcers made an observation about SHSU sticking with the same defensive guys while NDSU seamed to make more situational substitutions. He was trying to imply that SHSU had better athletes who could play man on man and play within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. In his obvious love fest with SHSU, he unintentionally hit on the big reason why NDSU was going to win. SHSU did have some talented guys, but they didn't have the horses to back up the starters. This is why NDSU pulled away in the second half and why NDSU will still be in this one in the fourth quarter against KSU. No other FCS team has the depth on defense that NDSU has and no FCS team has the experience coming back that NDSU does either. These guys have played 44 games in the last three years...that is a lot of live game reps.

    The Key for NDSU is going to be the same as it has always been; long sustained drives. The best defense that NDSU can put on the field is going to be an efficient Brock Jensen and a methodical offense that chews up the clock. If the KSU defense is on the field for a long period of time the playing field will level out. Players who have experience in live reps will be less apt to make mental errors when they get fatigued. Let's hope it plays out this way.

    Players to watch....

    1. Marcus Williams. Has there been a big game when this guy hasn't significantly changed the game?

    2. Colton Heagle.

    3. Emanuel, Drevlow, Luecke, Jirik, Hardie, Schaetz, LaVoy, Gordon. (yep, they are eight deep for this game)

    4 Grant Olson and Brock Jensen - The generals are proven leaders and this team has shown they will follow.

    Prediction: If Kansas State QB comes out and is a true dual threat, the Bison may be in for a long day. If the KSU defense has the growing pains that I think they may, NDSU could have the time to make the adjustments needed on defense to keep the game close going into the fourth quarter. The defensive line is going to be key for the Bison. Kansas State has an impressive offensive line, how the back up DL for the Bison fare is going to be the deciding factor.

    Never pick against the Bison.

    30-28 Bison.
    This article was originally published in blog: Preseason thoughts and the Kansas State game... started by Scooter1