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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 11 2012

Bison adjust during short week

FARGO – It wasn’t long after North Dakota State defeated Wofford College last Saturday when the Bison got the college football version of daylight savings time. The Bison lost a day.

The Division I Football Championship Subdivision semifinal game against No. 7 Georgia Southern will be played on Friday night, meaning both teams will have to condense their normal practice preparation time. Put it this way: The NDSU coaches probably didn’t celebrate too much, if at all, after the 14-7 quarterfinal victory over the Terriers.

By noon Monday, NDSU head coach Craig Bohl said the staff had been “working a long time” on the Eagles. “We’re grinding, but we know Georgia Southern is doing the same thing,” he said.

The Bison players typically get Sundays off during the season, but that wasn’t the case this time.

Moreover, the normal practices for Monday and today will be essentially condensed into one day.

Today and Wednesday, then, will be the main practice preparation work days for the players with Thursday being a walk-through, something that normally happens on Friday.

When asked if the short week carries any positives, Bohl said: “No. But I think it’s great, we’re going to garner national exposure. I don’t know the numbers, but I don’t think that game is going to compete against much in the sports market. It’s great exposure for our institution, so from that standpoint there’s a real benefit.”

At least Bohl still had his sense of humor when asked if Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome will be available for practice this week, something that wasn’t the case at times in the previous two weeks.

“We love to be outside, but the dome is requiring us to practice there,” he quipped.

Bohl said he wasn’t sure of the status of wide receiver Ryan Smith, who strained a calf muscle on Saturday. He was still listed as the starter on Monday, but that could be subject to change.

“We’re hopeful,” Bohl said.

NDSU is also hopeful of getting former starting free safety Bryan Shepherd back this week. The junior suffered a kidney laceration way back in mid-October against Indiana State. He’s been going through normal offseason conditioning workouts with head strength and conditioning coach Jim Kramer.

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

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia