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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 19 2012

NDSU receiver Smith to miss Saturday's game

FARGO – North Dakota State left for Sioux Falls, S.D., on Friday without much depth at wide receiver and fullback. The biggest hole is trying to find somebody to pick up the slack for receiver Ryan Smith.

The junior playmaker will miss the South Dakota game tonight because of concussion symptoms. Head coach Craig Bohl said he expects Smith to return next week.

That means the Bison will be minus their two starting receivers against the Coyotes. Leading receiver Zach Vraa is out two to four weeks with a shoulder injury.

NDSU still has Trevor Gebhart as a regular in the receiver rotation. Freshman Andrew Okland, sophomore Nate Moody and junior Cooper Wahlo will see their playing time increase.

“We have a lot of depth at receiver,” said NDSU quarterback Brock Jensen.

Bohl said there is no consideration of pulling a redshirt from one of NDSU’s three freshman recruits.

“We just need to figure out how to win these next couple of games until we start getting guys back,” he said.

It appears fullback Andrew Grothmann will be available tonight after missing last week with a strained knee. His absence meant continued growth for Andrew Bonnet, a 6-foot-3, 242-pound freshman from Council Bluffs, Iowa, who showed a flash of his ability when he jumped over a Prairie View A&M defensive back after catching a pass.

“He’s a great athlete, you saw where he leaped that kid,” Jensen said. “We need him to continue to grow, keep playing hard and keep playing fast for us.”

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