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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 05 2010

Bison football notebook: QB Jensen may have concussion after hit

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Getting a quarterback through an entire football game is becoming quite the chore for North Dakota State. For the third time this season, starter Brock Jensen left because of an injury.

The freshman suffered an apparent concussion, although NDSU head coach Craig Bohl could not confirm anything in the wake of NDSU’s 42-17 victory over Montana State on Saturday.

“We’ll find out more as we go,” Bohl said.

Facing third-and-3 at the Bobcat 15, Jensen ran four yards for a first down, but appeared to slip just as he was about to get tackled by a Bobcat defender.

It was a direct hit to Jensen’s head.

“Unfortunately, we always have to stay ready,” said backup quarterback Jose Mohler. “We both were preparing this week like we were going to play. To have two guys capable of playing the position is great; it adds a lot of depth to the position.”

Jensen was first injured in October at Youngstown State. He returned for the regular season final at Missouri State only to leave that game with a shoulder sprain. Mohler also sprained a shoulder in that game but later returned.

“You never want to see anything like that,” said Bison running back D.J. McNorton. “Brock is our teammate and when he went down, we were concerned. But Jose came in and did a good job and kept it going for us.”

Bison offensive line gets

rave reviews for game

It’s not often an offensive lineman makes an appearance at mandatory NCAA postseason press conferences. But Bison right guard Paul Cornick was a worthy representative for his line mates.

The Bison running attack won the game against the Bobcats.

“You have to give a huge shout out to those O-line guys,” Mohler said. “That was a phenomenal, phenomenal performance they put on. They owned the line of scrimmage won us that game.”

The Bison started Michael Arndt at left tackle, Austin Richard at left guard, Jesse Hinz at center, Cornick and Billy Turner at right tackle.

“Our offensive line was phenomenal,” Bohl said. “Montana State’s front seven is good, so we’re pleased how well our offensive guys hung in there.”

Bobcats not used to giving up many quarterback sacks

Montana State had not given up a quarterback sack the final three games of the season and surrendered only 13 all season. It was a different story on Saturday.

The Bison were in the face of MSU quarterback Denarius McGhee most of the game and sacked him five times. Several other throws were tossed under duress. Helping that was NDSU holding Montana State’s running game as the day wore on.

“It was important for us to get him one-dimensional where we knew he had to pass,” Bohl said. “Our front has been pretty dominant all year long. It was a combination of good coverage and getting pressure on him.”

Five Bison players were credited with a sack: linebackers Chad Willson and Grant Olson, defensive end Cole Jirik and noseguards Leevon Perry and Matt Phillips. Willson, in his first action after being out two games with an appendectomy, led the Bison in tackles with seven.

Bison win battle of field

position, pays dividends

NDSU had the advantage in field position most of the game. The Bison were better by an average of 10 yards on kickoffs and were almost eight yards better in net punting.

All of those yards added up over the course of the game.

“It’s huge every game when we give a defense like ours the long field for an opponent to drive like 80 yards,” said Bison punter John Prelvitz.

The Bobcats had only eight yards on three punt returns. The other three of Prelvitz’s punts were not returned and he finished with a 43.3-yard average. Two were inside the 20-yard line.

“It’s awesome to pin an opponent deep,” he said.

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