McFeely: The odds, it appears, are finally catching up to NDSU
The belief was that playing Mississippi Valley State would be a cakewalk for North Dakota State’s football team, allowing the Bison a breather before a big non-conference game at Eastern Washington. On the scoreboard, it was. NDSU won 72-7. On the depth chart, not so much.
The Bison lost three players to knee injuries Saturday — offensive tackle Dillon Radunz, safety Jaxon Brown and running back Demaris Purifoy. Brown could return this season. Radunz and Purifoy are out for the year, a full season of eligibility burned. Forum writer Jeff Kolpack has the news story here.
Radunz is a particularly big blow. The redshirt freshman from Becker, Minn., is a star in the making, a prized young player on the prized portion of the Bison offense. He didn’t start against the Delta Devils, but came in for the second series. He was expected to become the starting left tackle in short order, and anchor that key position for four years.
Radunz, in the parlance of former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly, was a Big Knocker. He was one of those players who could be a cornerstone of the program.
Young Dillon joins All-American defensive end Greg Menard on the sidelines. Menard was lost to a knee injury in the first week of fall camp. Another Big Knocker, gone for the year.
There is a disturbing trend here for the Bison — the continuing loss of key players to season-ending injuries.