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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FARGO—It was one of his first days on campus when Matt Plank saw the North Dakota State defensive playbook. He likened it to the thickness of a college textbook. To a true freshman, it probably looked more like "War and Peace." "Coach (Steve) Stanard, who was the original linebackers coach, slapped down a 200-page playbook and I'm like, 'Is this history class?'" Plank said. "What's going on? But it's gotten easier over the years."
FARGO—It's one of those rarely-enforced rules that occasionally crop up in a college football game, and North Dakota State was on the wrong end of such a call Saturday night, Aug. 27, against Charleston Southern. It was met with some resistance by some Bison fans at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome and on social media. Sideline interference, what is it?
FARGO—The waiting game has started with Nick DeLuca's shoulder. Will two weeks be enough healing time for the North Dakota State middle linebacker to play against Eastern Washington? The senior captain dislocated his shoulder on the first play of the second half Saturday night, Aug. 27, against Charleston Southern. Bison head coach Chris Klieman said the medical staff was able to pop it right back in and DeLuca spent the rest of the game with his arm in a sling and an ice wrap around his shoulder.
FARGO—It was a well-played three days at the Fargo Country Club for Hudson Carpenter, who put the finishing touch on his Bobcat North Dakota Open title Sunday, Aug. 28. Even a bogey on 18 didn't phase him. The former South Dakota State golfer from Stillwater, Minn., made good on his first appearance on the Dakotas Tour. His three-day total of 12-under-par was two shots better than Tom Hoge and Andrew Ruthkoski, with Hoge's 67 being the best score on Sunday. Still, Hoge finished runner-up at his home course tournament for the second straight year.
Fargo This ESPN FCS Kickoff series puts your team in a million living rooms and laptops across the country. It also makes for some stirring college football drama. Last year, Montana won on the last play to beat North Dakota State in the game a week before everybody else plays their opener. The Bison got some redemption in that category, of sorts, Saturday night, Aug. 27. The 24-17 win in overtime over a gritty Charleston Southern team gave the Bison a 1-0 record, which is the biggest statistic of them all of course.
FARGO—At one time, you would have thought the lasting image of ESPN and North Dakota State football would have been the aerial shot during the first segment of the "College GameDay" football pregame show. After all, it's hard to beat thousands of fans seens in Fargo's downtown streets and on rooftops. The show—this ESPN and Bison football thing—continues to thrive.
FARGO—It's not easy if you're the North Dakota State volleyball coach and you're on a first-name basis with your team. At least Kari Thompson has had more than three years to work on the name Emily, all of whom have a last name that begins with "M."
FARGO—Forgive Tanner Volson if he gets up around 5 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, and heads to the North Dakota State weight room. Don't bat an eye if he leaves the Sanford Health Athletic Complex and heads to work at a local landscape company.
FARGO—In the ideal world, Tom Hoge would be gearing up for the PGA Tour's FedExCup, a four-tournament playoff that carries a purse of $32 million. As it is, the Fargo South graduate will be teeing it up Friday, Aug. 26, in the Bobcat North Dakota Open, which carries a winning prize of $14,500. It's another example of the fine line that separates the best on the PGA Tour and the hundreds of players trying to catch them. Hoge finished the season 144th on the FedExCup points list with the top 125 players earning a ticket to the playoffs and full status on the Tour next season.
FARGO—The method of scheduling football games for Charleston Southern University over the years includes keeping an eye on FBS powers Clemson and the University of South Carolina. It's not so much who those two are playing, but when. The Buccaneers do everything they can to keep from going head-to-head with the Tigers and Gamecocks. "We want people to go to both," said CSU athletic director Hank Small. "We've only been playing football since 1990. We're the new guy so we're building in everything we do."