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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 16 2013

Kolpack: Jensen sure knows how to orchestrate an offense

Youngstown, Ohio - Ron Jaworski got his start on these hallowed eastern Ohio grounds, slinging his Division II right arm into football history. He got a nickname for his efforts, too: the Polish Rifle.

This is no time to give North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen a moniker in his senior year with the FCS playoffs on the horizon. On a day when Youngstown legend Jim Tressel was recognized for his induction into the YSU Hall of Fame, it was Jensen who showed why someday he’ll be in the Bison Hall of Fame.

So this is what Jaworski used to do when he played here. Jensen threw four touchdowns, scored one himself and ran a tough-minded offense that would make any western Pennsylvania steel-yard worker applaud in appreciation. Give another standing ovation to NDSU with its third straight Missouri Valley Football Conference title.

The 35-17 win Saturday afternoon came before 13,164 fans who saw Jensen become the school’s all-time leader in touchdown passes with 62 and the single-season record holder with 24. For a guy who is not considered a pure throwing quarterback, he’s doing a pretty good job of being a throwing quarterback.

He has several other NDSU passing records, but that story is for another day. Just know that the guy is a rock. He was against Youngstown.

“I’m just trying to do whatever is asked of me,” Jensen said. “If that is to throw four touchdown passes, then that’s good. If it’s to hand the ball off, make run checks and get us in the right run every play, then I’ll do that.”

Therein is the biggest reason the Bison flew back to Fargo with the Valley trophy. The right run checks.

Senior Sam Ojuri had 146 yards and junior John Crockett 120 in a rushing attack that gained 283 yards.

It’s like an assembly line back in the Youngstown steel-yard heyday. Jensen made the right reads all game, said head coach Craig Bohl. Then the offensive line did its job, and the backs had yards after contact.

“He manages the offense unlike anybody else,” said Bison tight end Kevin Vaadeland. “He’s played in so many games and has so much experience; it’s just nice having him as our quarterback.”

Jensen was 17 of 22 for 200 yards, not the kind of stuff that will make ESPN highlights. That’s not his style, either.

He’s not made for TV.

“I don’t know what his records are,” Bohl said. “I know he delivers. He’s done a great job working our offense.”

And when the offense is working, every other aspect of the Bison game is working, also.

“We like the way he runs the clock,” said Bison defensive end Cole Jirik. “The longer he drives the offense, the longer we get to sit on the bench and drink Gatorade. That’s the best way to play defense.”

The Bison are now 10-0 heading into the regular-season finale against South Dakota at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. Recognizing all 24 seniors may take awhile.

Jaworski, by the way, was born in a small town in New York. Jensen grew up in a small town in Wisconsin.

Jensen tied Armanti Edwards of Appalachian State for most wins by an FCS quarterback with 43.

I’ve been in this writing business since the 1980s, and Jensen has my own record for most words written about one player. There is nobody more deserving.


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