Bison football: Bohl: OL needs to add intensity
North Dakota State might want to put up the following sign around football practice this week: Beware of the Offensive Linemen. They may not be in the best of moods following last Saturday's 16-9 defeat at Northern Iowa, a punishing loss that saw...
North Dakota State might want to put up the following sign around football practice this week: Beware of the Offensive Linemen.
They may not be in the best of moods following last Saturday's 16-9 defeat at Northern Iowa, a punishing loss that saw the Bison finish with minus-40 yards rushing and 11 quarterback sacks.
Head coach Craig Bohl did not mince words at his weekly press conference Monday, saying there will be more physical contact in practice this week than at any point this year.
"Old-time stuff," he said. "Don't be hanging around the practice field, I'll tell you that. It's got to be a lot more intense."
Bohl said starting right tackle Paul Cornick will move to right guard, replacing sophomore Ty Beckius in the starting lineup. True freshman Billy Turner will take over the starting right tackle spot.
"We got taken to the wood shed," Bohl said. "It was ugly up front on Saturday when I was standing on the sidelines watching it. Typically, you watch the tape and it's not as bad as you think, or as good, but it was just as bad, maybe worse, when I watched the tape."
Tight end Matt Veldman will miss the home opener against Morgan State (Md.) Saturday night with a pulled groin muscle. Linebacker Chad Willson has a rib injury and is listed as doubtful. Bohl indicated Willson played with the pain against the Panthers.
Linebacker Preston Evans, linebacker Matt Anderson and offensive guard Joe Lund may miss some practice time with injuries but should be ready for the Bears.
The poor offensive line play came one game after the Bison defeated the University of Kansas 6-3. It wasn't a textbook performance on offense, either, but the line did create just enough holes against the Big 12 Conference team to maintain field position and keep the clock moving.
"Against KU, we got hat on hat and moved the ball just enough to win," Bohl said.
The Bison have shied away from day-to-day physical contact in pre-season practice, instead going with the theory that maintaining good health is more important. It worked - they hardly lost anybody to injury.
"You try to strike a balance as far as how much hitting and pounding you do," Bohl said. "Yeah, this will be a hard-nosed physical week. We're going to get after each other pretty dog-gone good."
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.
Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia .