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Jason Miller, Published October 14 2009

Miller: Paschall suspension adds insult to injury

Talk about punching a team when it’s down. The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced Tuesday that North Dakota State running back Pat Paschall will be suspended for one game for throwing a punch during the Northern Iowa game Saturday at the Fargodome.

Ouch.

Losing Paschall, an explosive running back and arguably the team’s best player, will leave the Bison with little hope of an upset at the No. 14-ranked Jackrabbits.

This game represents – or should I say represented? – NDSU’s last chance to have something positive come out of this throwaway season.

Sure the team’s 1-5, but this is its rivalry game.

It may be a manufactured rivalry, but it’s a rivalry game nonetheless.

I mean the teams play for a trophy, right? It’s gotta be a big game.

Without those folks from up north on the schedule for the foreseeable future, this was as close as it was going to get to a marquee matchup for this NDSU football team.

Maybe that big rock known as the Dakota Marker returning to Fargo after an upset Saturday would’ve helped the Bison turn things around this season.

At least it would’ve been a positive turn of events for a program in desperate need of some sunshine.

Everyone knows this team isn’t going to contend for a playoff berth or conference championship.

A win at SDSU would’ve at least been something for NDSU to hang its hat on.

But without Paschall, that’s not going to happen.

After an offseason of turmoil and a half season of losses, the team has entered uncharted territory.

Could a 2-9 showing be on the horizon?

Right now, it sure looks like it.


Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Jason Miller at (701) 451-5651 or jmiller@forumcomm.com