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Jeff Kolpack, Published September 07 2012

Elevation not expected to be a big factor for Bison today

FARGO – The University of Wyoming makes it well known the elevation of its football stadium. The 7,215 feet above sea level is advertised in big numbers on the face of War Memorial Stadium.

Although North Dakota State will be playing just 65 miles south of Laramie, Wyo., tonight at Colorado State, the vertical factor is not expected to be a difference.

Fort Collins, Colo., is 5,003 feet above sea level.

“I never really felt the effects,” said NDSU linebackers coach Steve Stanard, who was an assistant coach for five years at CSU. “Laramie is a different deal. Colorado Springs (home to Air Force) is a different deal. But I don’t remember teams having a lot of issues when they went to Fort Collins to play us.”

NDSU head coach Craig Bohl said the elevation at Wyoming played a factor in the fourth quarter in the 16-13 loss. He expects it to be a minor factor at best tonight.

Stanard: Mountain West a top mid-major league

Stanard was a member of two Colorado State bowl teams in his stint at the school from 2003-07. He was the defensive coordinator before moving to Ohio University for one year and Tulane for three seasons.

At CSU, the Rams led the Mountain West Conference in pass defense two years and were in the top half of the league in all five of his seasons. He called the Mountain West the top mid-major conference in the country when he was there, although TCU and Utah have moved on to other leagues.

“It’s still a very strong conference that has a physical brand of football with a lot of speed,” Stanard said.

He said the atmosphere at CSU games was similar to what he experienced last weekend at NDSU.

“Colorado State is the show in Fort Collins just like North Dakota State is here in Fargo,” he said.

Bison tight end Bruhn plans to play through the pain

NDSU tight end Garrett Bruhn, who at one point was feared lost for the season because of nerve damage in his shoulder, survived the season opener against Robert Morris in decent shape. He said there were just a few hits that felt like something wasn’t right.

It appears Bruhn will have to take the good days-bad days approach to the rest of the season. He said he felt fine on Sunday. It wasn’t so great on Monday.

“I don’t know what that was,” he said.

Bruhn, the top returning tight end in terms of receptions, did not catch a pass last week. That was left to junior Taylor Nelson, who had three catches for 17 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown.

Etc. etc. etc.

Defensive tackle Justin Juckem, who missed a good chunk of practice in August with knee ailments, played about 15 snaps against Robert Morris last week. … With freshman Donnell Alexander starting in place of the injured Chris Nwoke at running back, look for Tommey Morris to get more carries as the top Rams backup. … Alexander led the Rams in rushing last week against Colorado with 66 yards on eight carries, an average of 8.3 yards per attempt. … The game will be televised on the North Dakota NBC Network, but will be produced by KTVD channel 20 out of Denver. Bill Doleman and Ted Salquist will call the game.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

Kolpack is the host of the WDAY Golf Show Saturdays from 8-9 a.m. on 970-AM.