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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 06 2012

MSU coach praises North Dakota State defense

FARGO – Missouri State head coach Terry Allen has been around the Division I Football Championship Subdivision block, with stints at Northern Iowa and now Missouri State. He’s coached at the Football Bowl Subdivision level at Kansas.

His assessment, then, about the North Dakota State defense on Tuesday was quite striking. In the last two years, the Bears have played Oregon, Arkansas, Louisville and Kansas State and he called the North Dakota State defense better than all four of them.

“It’s a credit to those guys,” Allen said, “and they’ll go a long way in the playoffs because of that defense.”

Bison head coach Craig Bohl, however, didn’t share that FBS comparison view.

“I think first of all, Terry can embellish a little bit,” he said, with a chuckle. “I know he’s a good friend … I have no idea why he would make a comment like that. I think we’re playing good defense, but I have a hard time believing we’re in that other league that he mentioned.”

Elsewhere around the Valley:

E Illinois State, which has a bye this week in preparation for a home game against NDSU next week, may want to consider playing it somewhere else. The Redbirds went 5-0 on the road and, counting last season, have won a school record seven straight away from Hancock Stadium. The Missouri Valley road winning streak is six games, also a new school mark.

Indiana State, which also has a bye, is no slouch away from home either. The Sycamores have won their last four road league games – including beating No. 1 NDSU – and can make it five in two weeks at Youngstown State. It will be a must-win for ISU, which is 7-3 overall, but has one win against a Division II school.

“It’s do or die, we have one chance,” said Sycamores head coach Trent Miles. “We know we’re not going to make it if we don’t win. If we go out and win, we feel that we’ll be in. We have a good GPI, one of the top 10 in nation, we’ve beaten the No. 1 team in the nation at their place and we feel that will qualify us.”

E On the flip side, South Dakota has gone the other way since winning at the University of Minnesota two years ago. The Coyotes have lost 14 straight road games, but host Northern Iowa Saturday at the DakotaDome – USD’s first game in Vermillion in a month. Since a 24-17 loss to Western Illinois on Oct. 6, the Coyotes had three road games and a neutral field game in Sioux Falls against NDSU.

“Everybody enjoys playing in their home stadium, we’ve been gone for a month and it’s been a little rough,” said USD head coach Joe Glenn. “There’s been a pretty big difference between how we’ve played in the dome and on the road. I don’t know the reason for that, but there’s a noticeable difference how the Coyotes play at home than on the road.”

E There are only three league games this week but all three are on national television with the NDSU and SDSU game on Fox College Sports Center. The other two games are on ESPN3.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia