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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 18 2013

Bison defensive end Ambrosius willing to give up redshirt status

FARGO – The help-us-now philosophy that North Dakota State has used with true freshmen in the past few years came to the forefront again last week. This time, defensive end Brad Ambrosius said he had no doubt in his mind what the right answer was.

He’s all-in.

He took his redshirt season and tore it into pieces when the Bison coaching staff determined it needed help. An injury to backup defensive end Jeremy Gordon was the catalyst in Ambrosius saying yes to playing against Missouri State.

“It was a very nerve wracking time but I’m glad it happened,” he said. “It wasn’t the ideal situation burning it halfway through the season but they needed another d-end to rotate in. We talked about it and we decided to do it.”

Ambrosius will get his first taste of the travel squad today when the Bison play at Southern Illinois. Gordon may also return but both will provide depth for starters Kyle Emanuel and Cole Jirik and regular backup Mike Hardie. Jirik has also been battling injuries this season.

The 6-foot-4, 237-pound Ambrosius, from De Pere, Wis., had scholarship offers from North Dakota, Air Force and Butler (Ind.) and preferred walk-on invitations from Wisconsin and Boston College. He said he had an idea over the summer that playing right away was a possibility.

“But it was very slim,” he said. “It never occurred to me it would actually come true this season. I thought maybe next year I would get a chance to play but never this season.”

Bison depth could get tested at cornerback

It remains to be seen how effective cornerback Marcus Williams will be today with his broken hand and bruised thigh. He had difficulty moving around earlier in the week.

“The cast may affect him,” said defensive coordinator Chris Klieman.

Williams was a major factor in the Bison win at SIU two years ago with two interceptions. If he’s limited, look for Jordan Champion and Zach Colvin to see a more prominent role.

“They have to come ready to play,” Klieman said, “because you never know when your number is going to be called. Marcus didn’t play in the second half (against Missouri State), and I thought those guys did a good job. They may have to play the whole game and we’re confident they can make the plays.”

NFL wives from Jacksonville brighten day for Bolstad

The families of former Bison football coaches may have left the area, but they haven’t forgotten NDSU. Michaela Bradley, Nancy Babich and Darci Wash visited Fargo Davies student Lexi Bolstad in a Denver rehabilitation unit last weekend.

Their husbands – Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley and assistants Bob Babich and Todd Wash – were in Denver to play the Broncos. A post on Bolstad’s CarringBridge sight said “what an amazing group of ladies.”

SIU quarterback Faulkner has progressed from two years ago

The 9-3 NDSU win in Carbondale two years ago was a tough day for SIU quarterback Kory Faulkner. It was his first career start, and the Bison gave him a rude Missouri Valley Football Conference awakening.

He took over for the injured Paul McIntosh the previous week. Against NDSU, he finished 16 of 28 with three interceptions.

Now a senior, he’s second in the Valley in passing averaging 246.7 yards per game. He’s completed 140 of 233 attempts for 60 percent.

“He’s a different quarterback then what you saw two years ago,” said SIU head coach Dale Lennon. “Right now, you’re seeing the time invested in Kory paying off. He’s always had all the tools but now he has the experience to really utilize those tools.”

Not every decision is perfect, as Lennon pointed out. He’s thrown an interception that was returned for a touchdown in each of the last two games.

“Hopefully we don’t make it three,” Lennon said. “There are some things to improve on, but Kory is the reason we’re putting up the offensive numbers that we’re putting up.”

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