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Jeff Kolpack, Published September 07 2013

Bison get first look at new rule in blowout victory

FARGO – North Dakota State got its first taste of the NCAA’s new “targeting” rule Saturday in its win over Ferris State (Mich.). Bison strong safety Bryan Shepherd was ejected after it was ruled he led with his helmet on a second-quarter tackle.

It didn’t factor into the 56-10 victory over Ferris State (Mich.) at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

“The rule is if he launches and they feel like he’s targeting the head, they’re going to eject him, and that is what was called,” said NDSU head coach Craig Bohl.

Bohl was active on the sideline after the ejection, seemingly questioning the officials.

“That was the ruling, and Bryan was ejected,” he said.

Shepherd spent the second half on the sidelines with his shoulder pads off. He will not have to sit out any part of NDSU’s next game, a home date against Delaware State in two weeks.

Bison had hands full with Ferris quarterback

Ferris State had its moments looking like a Division II team, but the Bulldogs also did one thing Kansas State couldn’t do last week: Run the ball.

The Bulldogs did to NDSU on its opening drive in the second half what the Bison did to the Wildcats in their game-winning drive last week: Run off 18 plays that culminated in a score.

NDSU won the game with their touchdown drive. Ferris kicked a field goal to pull within 35-10. Counting the last drive of the first half, the Bulldogs offense ran 25 straight plays.

“I don’t think we played as good as we can,” said NDSU linebacker Grant Olson.

Bulldogs quarterback Jason Vander Laan finished with 100 yards on 18 carries. Last week, Kansas State finished with just 41 yards rushing.

“He’s a physical, downhill runner and it was hard to bring him down,” Olson said. “I know I was disappointed with some of the tackles I missed.”

Moorhead’s Morlock loses redshirt status

Running back Chase Morlock from Moorhead became the third Bison player to lose his redshirt. He started on the kickoff return and coverage teams and also scored the first touchdown of his college career as a running back.

The 9-yard run made it 49-10 in the fourth quarter.

“I had a blast out there,” Morlock said. “It was good to get that first game out of the way.”

Morlock finished with 39 yards on seven carries.

Etc. etc. etc.

NDSU cornerback C.J. Smith picked an opportune time to get his first career interception. He returned it to the 5-yard line that led to John Crockett’s touchdown run on the next play and a 28-0 lead. “It was tipped by one of the receivers, and I was shocked the ball fell into my hands,” he said. … Starting right tackle Joe Haeg did not play because of a strained MCL. Bohl said he could have played but the coaches chose to rest him. … Bohl said he knew of no injuries resulting from the game. … Senior fullback Andrew Grothmann got the first touchdown of his career on a 4-yard reception in the second quarter.

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

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia