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Bussey to get his first start

Another week, another starter at middle linebacker for North Dakota State. Junior Fred Bussey will get the call tonight when the Bison host Indiana State at the Fargodome. He takes the place of freshman Preston Evans, who took the place of junior...

Another week, another starter at middle linebacker for North Dakota State.

Junior Fred Bussey will get the call tonight when the Bison host Indiana State at the Fargodome.

He takes the place of freshman Preston Evans, who took the place of junior Tyler Henry. Freshman Eddie Beson would have been in there somewhere if he hadn't suffered a season-ending knee injury last spring. Outside linebacker Matt Anderson also played in the middle this year.

Evans suffered a shoulder injury last week against Illinois State and head coach Craig Bohl said he's "iffy" for the Sycamores. Henry was considered probable early in the week, but his sprained ankle didn't progress as hoped.

"He had trouble pushing off," Bohl said.

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The 6-foot, 250-pound Bussey came to NDSU this fall from the College of DuPage (Ill.). He spent 2005 as a redshirt at Georgia Southern before transferring.

Bison hoping for another step forward

The challenge for NDSU this week was to look at Indiana State as a Missouri Valley Football Conference team - and not at its wins and losses.

Since the Bison do not play next Saturday, there is no storyline of looking past the Sycamores and on to somebody else. But at 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the league, NDSU coaches say they have plenty to work on.

"Our biggest frustration is we have not played up to our potential," Bohl said. "There are a lot of reasons for that. We've sensed that we're getting better each week. We improved from Northern Iowa to Illinois State and we need to take another step forward."

The Sycamores have the nation's longest losing streak at 22 games.

Kicking game has had its ups and downs

After starting the year hitting his first five field goals and six of his first seven, NDSU junior Shawn Bibeau has been inconsistent.

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He's made four for his last eight and has misfired on an extra point in two of the last three games.

"Certainly, field goals and extra points are not where they have been," Bohl said. "Shawn's disappointed and I'm disappointed. He needs to improve."

Bohl said the way to improve is to get back to fundamentals.

"Placekicking is like a golf swing," he said. "When you're off a bit, it can have a big, big impact."

Etc. etc. etc.

Reserved and general admission tickets will be available beginning this morning at 10 at the Fargodome ticket office. ... Tonight will be the first meeting between Indiana State and NDSU. It is the 35th annual Harvest Bowl.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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