« NDSU Bison

Pinto's Preview: NDSU vs. Youngstown State University

by Dan Gunderson

Since I was unable to do my usual video preview of the North Dakota State University football team's upcoming game, I have typed one out. Here are my three points, x-factor & prediction for today's game between NDSU & Youngstown State University. 

1st Point:

Control the clock. Today, more so than any game so far this season, the Bison need to make sure and keep the defense off the field. Without Grant Olson & Marcus Williams, the Bison offense needs to come up with a couple of those eight minute drives we are so use to seeing. 

2nd Point:

Force fumbles. The Penguins have fumbled 18 times this season, losing 10 of them. NDSU is aware of this & will be trying to punch the ball out. Last year's game turned on an interception by Marcus Williams. Expect this game to turn on a turnover as well. 

3rd Point:

Brock Jensen needs to be the better QB. Kurt Hess is having as good of year as Jensen. Hess, who has thrown 20 touchdowns & only four interceptions, won't be rattled easy. So, it is going to come down to who can make more plays down the stretch. Jensen may be asked upon yet again to come up with a late game deciding drive. 

X-Factor: 

CJ Smith. The cornerback opposite of Marcus Williams has had a solid year. Now, without Williams on the field, Smith will be asked on to defend YSU's best receiver. NDSU's success will hinder on how Smith does defending the pass. 

Prediction: NDSU 30 YSU 20

In the end, NDSU's experience  and ability to win the big game is the deciding factor.