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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 23 2010

Bison football: Bohl mum on QB starter, for now

North Dakota State put out its probable starters for the first round of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff game on Saturday. A better term might be questionable starters.

The Bison are injured at the key positions of quarterback and linebacker and the status of those groups won’t be known until later in the week, if not game time. NDSU hosts Robert Morris University (Pa.) at 6 p.m. at the Fargodome.

Quarterbacks Brock Jensen and Jose Mohler are both nursing unspecified shoulder injuries. The Bison did not practice on Monday and head coach Craig Bohl said both players are “day by day.” No. 3 quarterback Dante Perez played some last Saturday at Missouri State and Bohl said he could be in the mix for the Colonials.

“Stayed tuned, we’ll see who runs out there,” he said.

The same may apply at linebacker, where starters Preston Evans and Matt Anderson were in and out of the Missouri State game with ailments. Both are listed as starters for Saturday. Moreover, the Bison lost key backup Chad Willson to an emergency appendectomy late last week.

His departure put Alex Yaggie, a junior from Thief River Falls, Minn., in the two-deep for the first time this season. He’s played in two games and has one tackle.

Jensen got the start last Saturday for the first time since October when he broke his collarbone. He was injured in the first half and Mohler started the third quarter. But Mohler was injured on his first play when he was pushed to the Plaster Field turf and landed on his shoulder.

In came Perez, although Mohler returned several plays later. Bohl said he would like to keep the redshirt on true freshman quarterback Esley Thorton, but he also said Thorton could be part of the discussion this week.

“We’ll do what we have to do to win the game,” Bohl said. “But it would be unusual to have a quarterback go in and not have any game experience.”

The Bison will practice in the dome the rest of the week beginning later today after the “Fill the Dome” food drive ends and will not need to blow snow off their outdoor practice field. Bohl also said contact will be limited this week.

“That’s typical of teams,” he said.

But NDSU playing a home game at this time of the year is not typical and injuries aside, the mood with the Bison camp was upbeat on Monday.

“We have not had a game in the dome this late in the season,” Bohl said. “As much as I hate the snow, it’s great to have snow on the ground, it’s late November and we’re still playing football.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia