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Jeff Kolpack, Published September 07 2013

Kolpack: Mystery of Brock Jensen's missing jersey provides rare bit of drama Saturday

Fargo - The Taylor Swift concert and all those screaming kids that blew up the eardrums of parents at the Fargodome on Friday night continued Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. No word yet if she was wearing a gold North Dakota State jersey with the No. 16 on it.

She hadn’t been ruled out as a suspect when this edition of The Forum went to press. Well, nobody was.

There were two questions in the wake of NDSU’s 56-10 win over Ferris State on Saturday: One, how did the Bison defense give up 228 rushing yards to a Division II team? And, two, who took Brock Jensen’s jersey?

“Somebody said Taylor Swift probably stole it,” said linebacker Grant Olson. “Some people were freaking out in the locker room … I thought it was pretty funny.”

Jensen said he discovered the jersey missing from his locker about 10 to 15 minutes before the Bison were scheduled to take the Gate City Bank Field for warmups. He said the ensuing next few minutes were a bit chaotic after he found out there wasn’t a replacement jersey available.

One of the witnesses, receiver Zach Vraa, described the crime scene this way: “I was in the locker room when this was going on. Our equipment manager was running around like a chicken with his head cut off and I thought what the heck is going on now? Brock said he didn’t have a jersey and they were scrambling to find out what to do.”

Jensen ended up with No. 18, which is the number of redshirt quarterback Cole Davis. Teammates were calling him Peyton Manning, who wears that number for the Denver Broncos.

That wasn’t really amusing to Jensen, a Wisconsin native and a Green Bay Packers fan. Of course, he would have preferred the No. 12 worn by Aaron Rodgers.

But No. 12 on NDSU is senior receiver Cooper Wahlo Jr.

“I was telling Coop, ‘Hey listen, I might need to borrow that this game,’” Jensen joked.

On the field, it was no joking performance. The Bison were sharp in the first quarter, essentially answering any letdown question after last weekend’s emotional win at Kansas State.

They scored the first four times they got the ball and Jensen finished with a career-high 259 yards passing. That’s something that would make Manning proud.

“Today, we had it in the game plan to throw the ball a lot,” Vraa said. “Last week against Kansas State, we stayed true to the run. Today, we knew we would take a few more shots and we had a lot of faith in our receivers and quarterback.”

The Bison defense, however, wasn’t as happy as the offense. Bulldogs quarterback Jason Vander Laan was a load to bring down and finished with 100 yards rushing.

“I think a lot of people were underestimating them, not necessarily our team,” Olson said. “I think some fans were expecting a blowout. But right now, there’s a feeling of disappointment which is unusual after a big win but that speaks to the expectations that we have.”

A 56-10 win is still a blowout in my book. As for the missing jersey? Head coach Craig Bohl said he didn’t know how it happened.

“Better call the Fargo PD,” he said.

That gold jersey was 9-0. The number 16 started two national championship victories and is 10-1 in FCS playoffs. There are no plans to wear No. 18 again.

Unless Taylor Swift comes back for another show.


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