NCAA: NDSU ready to pull another upset
08-28-2013 02:10 PM
Two-time defending FCS champion and preseason No. 1 North Dakota State is the first team in league history to win a game against an FBS foe in three consecutive years (Kansas in 2010, Minnesota in 2011 and Colorado State last season). The Bison will try to make it four in a row as they open the season at Kansas State on Friday night.
This is the second meeting between North Dakota State and Kansas State. NDSU lost 19-6 at Kansas State under coach C.C. Finnegan to end a 5-5 season in 1931. NDSU is 1-1 against Big 12 competition since beginning Division I play in 2004. The Bison lost 34-17 at Iowa State in the 2009 opener and won 6-3 at Kansas in the 2010 opener.
Valley football teams have gone a combined 32-1 at home against non-conference opponents the past two seasons, 17-1 in 2012 and a perfect 15-0 in 2011.
Big happenings in the Big Sky
One of the best opening games this weekend pits Montana against former FCS power Appalachian State on Saturday. The game marks the debut for Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield. Satterfield was named Appalachian’s 20th head coach Dec. 14, 2012. Satterfield replaces legendary head coach Jerry Moore, whose 24-year run at the helm of the Mountaineers came to an end following the 2012 campaign.
Saturday’s game also marks the beginning of the end of Appalachian State's time in FCS. On March 27, the Mountaineers accepted an invitation to join the FBS' Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2014.
Montana is 22-5 in home openers at Washington-Grizzly Stadium since 1986, and has won 11 of its past 12. UM's last loss in a home opener was 25-24 to North Dakota State in 2003. UM has 11 All-Big Sky picks back this season. Danny, Tripp, and defensive end Zack Wagenmann were named to the first team a year ago. Honorable mention selections from last season who return are defensive tackles Alex Bienemann and Tonga Takai; linebacker J.P. Kanongata'a; Coyle; safety Matt Hermanson; center Kjelby Oiland; kicker Chris Lider and punter Stephen Shaw. The game may also be a very early postseason preview. Montana and ASU have 10 FCS championship-game appearances and 41 FCS playoff berths between them.
Also in the Big Sky, preseason No. 2 Montana State will open the season at home Thursday night against Monmouth. The game marks the first time the two schools have met on the football field. While Monmouth features a