Published October 6, 2012http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
Thoughts following Youngstown State's 48-7 loss to North Dakota State (aside from the fact that I'm grateful for Fargo's airport providing free wireless):
1. I've been covering Youngstown State for 2 1/2 years and I've never seen a game -- or a team -- like that.
If North Dakota State doesn't repeat as FCS national champions, it'll be because they had a bunch of turnovers. Because the Bison's best is better than about half the schools in the FBS.
2. It was hard not to be impressed with NDSU's postgame press conference. No big declarations. No celebrating. Just business as usual.
You would have thought this was just a normal conference game rather than a match up of No. 1 versus No. 3 or a game against the only team to beat the Bison last year.
As YSU coach Eric Wolford said afterward, "Coach [Craig] Bohl's not a revenge guy."
3. Wolford also said NDSU "should go ahead and give [Bohl] a lifetime contract here." Hard to argue. He can obviously coach and recruit, he's impressive in dealing with the media and he even took time before the game to give high-fives to the student section.
"As I told coach Bohl before the game, we're all chasing him," Wolford said.
4. Considering North Dakota State has just three senior starters (a tight end, a center and a cornerback), it might be awhile before anyone catches him.
5. What impresses me is NDSU's consistency. YSU wide receiver Christian Bryan talked about it to me earlier this week -- the Bison never take a play off.
If they have a bad play, they forget about it and move on.
I think UNI might have more individual talent at the skill positions but NDSU has better football players than everyone in this conference. And its offensive and defensive lines are really, really good.
6. I ventured out in front of the NDSU student section for about a half hour before the game but I was disappointed in the heckling. The best I heard was directed at 5-6 wide receiver Andre Stubbs: "Hey No. 4, there's a height requirement up here."
The students also seemed to have a thorough knowledge of the YSU players' sexual orientation.
7. The Fargodome's press box is far from the action, above and beyond all the seats, so it's hard to tell how loud it is on the field, but I don't think YSU's struggles had anything to do with noise. After awhile, that's all it is -- noise.
8. Special teams coach Louis Matsakis pointed out that there are flags on the goalposts. In a dome.
Based on what I've saw in warmups, the heater was blowing out from the north at 1 mile per hour.
9. Speaking of Matsakis, he was a punter at Emporia State when the Hornets became the first non-conference team to beat North Dakota State at the Fargodome in 1998. He said it was the highlight of his playing career.
10. YSU's next opponent, Illinois State, got blanked by Southern Illinois Saturday, 17-0, so that's an encouraging sign. The margin of error is a little bigger against the Salukis than the Bison.