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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 14 2013

Kolpack: Bohl distraction talk gets put to rest early

Fargo - North Dakota State is fully equipped with assistant coaches, medical staff and support crew that are perhaps equal to the football team’s 13-0 record. All amenities are present and accounted for.

What we don’t know is if there is a team psychologist. If so, the wonder among Bison fans this week is if that person worked 18-hour days.

When the head coach announced last Sunday morning that he was headed for the University of Wyoming, the first fear was the mental fragility of the players. It took until early Saturday afternoon, but the answer was clear.

North Dakota State 48, Coastal Carolina 14.

The penchant to overreact to a possible team disruption is acceptable and normal behavior. That’s why they’re called fans, short for fanatics.

But they don’t play the game. And the guys that did at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome once again showed the threat of nuclear war wouldn’t faze them. The win before 18,219 fans puts them one win away from a return trip to Frisco, Texas.

“We’re a focused group of guys that are trying to accomplish greatness,” said quarterback Brock Jensen. “The world would have to come to an end to distract this group. We’re fortunate we get to play another 60 minutes.”

The next 60 will come Friday night. Same place, only tailgating won’t begin before the sun is up.

The last Friday night game, which came last year against Georgia Southern, was about as good of a game anybody will ever see around here. Look for the same energy to hit Fargo this week, and a word of warning to business managers around the area: There may be a few employees taking the day off.

It will be all about football and not about coaching changes. Craig Bohl looked to be anxious to put that topic to rest.

“Park it,” he said toward the tail end of the postgame news conference.

I agree. There was absolute zero evidence his announcement of taking the Wyoming job had any effect whatsoever.

“It actually brought us a little closer,” said running back Sam Ojuri. “It’s important we keep our eyes focused on the goal. It’s important we stay positive.”

The positivity was obvious from the opening bell.

Coastal Carolina got the ball first and got zero yards on three plays. The NDSU offense, on the other hand, scored the first three times it had the ball, and it was quickly 17-0. One of those touchdowns was a 73-yard run by Ojuri, and the other was a 54-yard drive that took all of three plays.

We might as well have parked any questions on team focus right there.

“It was about business, and that’s what we talked to the team about. It’s going to be about business,” Bohl said.

Chanticleers head coach Joe Moglia would probably appreciate that comment. He turned TD Ameritrade into a highly successful company as the CEO before getting back into coaching.

By being all business, Bohl means paying attention to detail all week in practice and in the film room. It means not making mistakes in preparation.

“Not a lot gets them rattled or off course,” he said.

That was obvious on Saturday.

I can’t speak for other media members, but we here at Forum Communications are going to take your advice.

We’re parking it.


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