Scheduling woes: No FCS team has had more success against the FBS in recent years than North Dakota State, which has beaten an FBS team in each of the last four years. The Bison are 7-3 against FBS schools, including a 2-0 mark in 2007 when they trounced eventual Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan (44-14) and edged Big Ten-member Minnesota (27-21). Bison coach Craig Bohl said it’s become more difficult to find teams willing to play NDSU. “We can’t even get a MAC team to return our call now,” said Bohl, whose team has contracts to play Iowa State and Iowa in upcoming years. “The games between the FCS and the FBS are really important for our game.” Northern Iowa coach Mark Farley, whose team beat Iowa State in Week 1, lost close games to Wisconsin (26-21) and Iowa (27-16) in the first three weeks last season. “The elite FBS teams will play anybody,” he said. “But if you look at the FBS side, there’s not a lot of win-win situations for them playing these games. They want to get a win and they can probably select some FBS schools that are probably in a better situation to get what they want.” While the Missouri Valley will suffer most by the Big Ten’s decision to stop playing FCS schools, Farley said one group of teams will benefit. “The people it will help most are in the lower half of the FBS teams,” he said. “Their market value has gone up.”
Familiar faces: YSU returns 17 players who saw action in the 2011 game against Michigan State, including eight who started: WR Kevin Watts, WR Christian Bryan, OG Chris Elkins (who now plays center), WR Andre Stubbs, WR Jelani Berassa, QB Kurt Hess, LB Travis Williams and CB Donald D’Alesio. Other players who saw action were RB Adaris Bellamy, LB Dom Rich, RB Torrian Pace, DE Kyle Sirl, TE Nate Adams, LS Nathan Gibbs, WR Andrew Williams and WR Kintrell Disher (who now plays tight end).
Injury update: Bellamy (ankle), Rich (quad) and LB Teven Williams (knee) all practiced Monday after missing Saturday’s win over Morehead State. RB Demond Hymes (ankle) and CB Dale Peterman (knee), who missed the first two games, also practiced. Only DE Eric Myers (broken left hand) is definitely out against MSU.