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Central Arkansas was set to be a Bison football opponent this fall

UCA's athletic director confirms Bears were willing to play NDSU

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North Dakota State freshman fullback Hunter Luepke (44) said earlier this week he is hopeful to play against Montana State in the NCAA Division I FCS semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 21, in the Fargodome. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO - North Dakota State had at least one opponent that was willing to play the Bison this fall.

University of Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague confirmed Wednesday his school was the one. "NDSU did contact us. My initial response was we're looking for proximity (regional) games. " Teague said on Dom Izzo's Hot Mic show on 970 WDAY-AM and WDAY Xtra.

"Time went by maybe a week and I called Matt Larsen and told him we would love to come up there now. We were the only team they could find to play which is too bad, they couldn't play a whole season and practice for one game. So Central Arkansas was coming to Fargo if they could have found the full three games and we were excited about it." Teague said.

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NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen was asked about scheduling during a meeting with the media on Monday. "We just couldn't get three schools to agree. We had one school that was willing to come up here. Our conversations were we wanted to get to three games. They were willing to play to come up to North Dakota State, so credit to them."

Central Arkanas is a member of the Southland Conference, was a co-champion of the league last season with Nicholls, a team that lost to the Bison in the second round of last year's playoffs. The Bears lost to fellow Missouri Valley Football Conference member Illinois State in the second round, 24-14.

UCA is set to play in the first college football game of the season in over a week's time when they face Austin Peay in the Guardian FCS Kickoff Classic in Montgomery, Alabama. Teague said his school wants to play in the fall despite nearly all of the FCS shutting down until the spring.

"Is the spring viable, can it work? What's going to be different about the virus at that point from now? There was a concern from our players that if we can get it done right now, let's get it done now." Teague said.

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Central Arkansas will play a home and home series with Missouri State and has nine games scheduled for this fall. As far as a potential future Bison-Bears matchup, Teague sounded optimistic.

"Matt (Larsen) and I talk frequently, we've been good at filling our schedule. We have our guarantee games thru 2025, but I could definitely see us coming to Fargo sometime in the future."

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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