No. 4-ranked North Dakota State (6-1, 3-1 Valley Football) is scheduled to host Southern Illinois (5-3, 4-1 Valley Football) at 2:37 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome (AstroTurf®'s GameDay Grass™ 3D60 infilled turf / 18,700) ... Saturday is the 38th Harvest Bowl ... NDSU is 33-2-2 in the Harvest Bowl including a 27-19 win last year over Northern Iowa ... North Dakota State defeated South Dakota 54-0 in Sioux Falls on Saturday, while Southern Illinois defeated Youngstown State 38-21 on the road ... The Salukis and Indiana State hold a half-game lead in the Missouri Valley Football Conference standings over NDSU and South Dakota State ... SIU has a three-game winning streak.
SERIES RECORD: This is the seventh meeting between North Dakota State and Southern Illinois in a series that started in 1963 ... The series is tied 3-3 ... North Dakota State defeated the Salukis 9-3 in Carbondale last season (recap on page 4) ... The Bison have won both meetings in Fargo.
AT HOME: North Dakota State has compiled a 241-37-3 record at home since 1964 ... The Bison are 96-23-0 in the Fargodome since moving from Dacotah Field in 1993 ... NDSU is 17-3 over the last three seasons at home and is 47-12 since head coach Craig Bohl took over in 2003.
SELL OUT: North Dakota State recorded its 12th sellout over the past seven seasons with a school record crowd of 19,065 vs. No. 3 Youngstown State at Gate City Bank Field ... NDSU has attracted over 18,000 fans in 11 of its last 12 home games including four sellouts ... Tickets for all 2012 North Dakota State University football home football games are currently SOLD OUT ... Additional reserved and standing room tickets may become available on the Friday of game week ... Check GoBison.com/tickets for availability ... To create the best possible home field advantage, NDSU encourages fans to use their tickets for all games at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome ... Fans that have purchased season tickets and are unable to attend select games are encouraged to make sure their seats are filled for each game ... Those looking to sell tickets can use online message boards, Craigslist or NDSU's facebook page (facebook.com/NDBison) to broker tickets.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised on Fox College Sports Central (DirecTV Ch. 626/AT&T U-Verse Ch. 648, FCS not carried by DISH network) and the North Dakota NBC Sports Network ... Former Valley News Live weekend sports anchor Brian Shawn will handle the play-by-play, and KFYR TV Sports Director Lee Timmerman and former NDSU quarterback Kevin Feeney are the color analysts ... Stations on the North Dakota NBC Sports Network include KVLY-TV (Channel 11, Fargo), KFYR-TV (Channel 5, Bismarck), KMOT-TV (Channel 10, Minot), KQCD-TV (Channel 7, Dickinson) and KUMV-TV (Channel 8, Williston) ... All 11 regular season games in 2012 will be televised for the first time in school history ... The Bison are 106-57-1 (.649) in TV games.
RADIO BROADCASTS: KFGO-AM 790, Fargo ... Veteran sports announcer Scott Miller will handle the play-by-play ... Former NDSU quarterback Steve Walker will handle the color duties, while NDSU director of athletic broadcasting Jeremy Jorgenson is on the sidelines ... Air time is set for 2 p.m., kickoff at 2:37 p.m. on Oct. 27 ... Anchored by flagship, The Mighty 790, KFGO-AM, the Bison Radio Network has 20 stations including (Fargo, simulcast on KRWK 101.9 FM); ESPN 710 AM (Bismarck); KHRT 1320 AM (Minot); KSJB 600 AM (Jamestown); KEYZ 660 AM (Williston); KDVL 102.5 FM (Devils Lake); KHND 1470 AM (Harvey); KZZJ 1450 AM (Rugby); KPOK 1340 AM (Bowman); KAUJ – 100.9 FM (Grafton); KLTC 1460 AM (Dickinson); KRCQ 102.3 FM (Detroit Lakes); WLKX 95.9 FM (North) / KBGY 107.5 FM (South) (Minneapolis/St. Paul); KDDG 105.5 FM (Albany); KZCR 103.3 FM (Fergus Falls); KMGK 107.1 FM (Glenwood), and KKCQ 96.7 FM (Fosston) ... The Bison gameday format includes a 30-minute pregame show with comments from Craig Bohl, in-depth analysis and features ... A complete 30-minute postgame show is covered from the press box and locker room areas.
TOUGH GOING: After limiting South Dakota to 76 yards on Oct. 20, North Dakota State has held seven of its last eight opponents to under 250 yards of total offense, dating back to the 2011 Division I FCS Championship game victory over Sam Houston State ... The 76 yards vs. South Dakota was the lowest total offense yardage allowed since Minnesota State Moorhead was limited to 66 (43 rushing, 23 passing) in 2000 ... USD's four first downs were fewest since NDSU allowed three vs. Minnesota State Moorhead in 2000 ... The 17 rushing yards were the lowest yielded since Ball State was limited to 14 in 2006, and the 59 passing yards were the lowest allowed since Austin Peay's 35 in 2008.
GARRETT BRUHN SEMIFINALIST FOR NFF'S WILLIAM V. CAMPBELL TROPHY: North Dakota State University tight end Garrett Bruhn is one of 147 candidates for the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments® ... The 147 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation ... Bruhn, a 6-foot-1, 241-pound senior from Beatrice, Neb. (Beatrice H.S.), maintains a 3.312 grade point average majoring in criminal justice with a minor in accounting ... He is one of four captains for the Bison this season ... Bruhn, who had a career-long 30-yard reception at Western Illinois in 2011, has been a major contributor since his freshman year and has played in 43 games.
NDSU CORNERBACK MARCUS WILLIAMS ON BUCHANAN WATCH LIST: North Dakota State cornerback Marcus Williams was among the 20 players named to The Sports Network's Buck Buchanan Watch List in July ... The list includes six finalists from last season, in the race for the 18th annual award that honors the outstanding defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision ... Former NDSU and current Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays was a finalist for the Buchanan Award in 2007 ... A first-team Sports Network/Fathead.com and Associated Press performer in 2011, Williams picked off seven passes and returned two for TDs ... He scored four times overall including on a lateral and a kickoff ... Williams led the MVFC and ranked 6th in the NCAA FCS in interceptions.
BISON QUICK-HITTERS: North Dakota State posted its second shutout of the season and the program's first in 36 Missouri Valley Football Conference games with the 54-0 win over South Dakota on Oct. 20 ... The last time NDSU had two shutouts in a season was 2005 vs. Weber State (41-0) and Northern Colorado (44-0) ... Punter Ben LeCompte has punted 18 times for an average of 38.7 yards per attempt with a season-long of 56 yards ... LeCompte has placed nine inside the 20 and had five fair catches ... Only five punts have been returned for 25 yards, which ranks 19th nationally ... Cornerback Marcus Williams recorded his third interception of the season and 14th of his career -- a 98-yard pick six against Youngstown State (10-6-12) ... It was his fourth interception return for TD, sixth score overall including lateral and kickoff return ... Williams is tied for second all-time at NDSU with Rudy Baranko (1964-66) with the 14 interceptions ... NDSU has allowed just 86 points in its last 11 contests, dating back to the start of the 2011 Division I FCS Playoffs ... The Bison have allowed just 72 points in their last nine contests, dating back to a 24-0 shutout victory over Lehigh in the 2011 Division I FCS Quarterfinals ... NDSU has limited its opponent to 10 points or less in 12 of its last 22 games ... Defensive end Cole Jirik had 4 tackles including a safety, two tackles for loss and a sack in North Dakota State's 22-7 win over Colorado State on Sept. 8 ... His safety with 5:34 left in the first quarter broke a 7-7 tie and gave the Bison the lead for good ... The safety was the first for North Dakota State since Matthew Gratzek's against Robert Morris in the 2010 FCS playoff game ... North Dakota State's field goal block by nose guard Ryan Drevlow at Colorado State (9-8-12) was the first since Matt Veldman's effort against Illinois State (10-1-11) ... North Dakota State's 52-0 shutout of Robert Morris in the season opener on Sept. 1 at Gate City Bank Field was the first since 2011 when the Bison beat Lehigh 24-0 in the NCAA FCS quarterfinals ... North Dakota State committed zero (0) turnovers in eight of 15 games played in 2011 and 11 over its last 21 games ... The Bison committed only 12 turnovers overall in 15 games in 2011 ... NDSU leads the nation in scoring defense (8.43 avg/g), total defense (185.71 avg/g), defense 3rd down efficiency (22.78 pct.), offense 3rd down efficiency (56.86 pct.), time of possession (35:00 avg/g) and first downs defense (10.29 avg/g); 2nd in ushing defense (63.29 avg/g); 3rd in scoring offense (41.29 avg/g) and turnovers lost (6); 6th in punt returns (19.61 avg/r); 8th in turnover margin (+1.29 avg/g) and pass efficiency (155.76 rating); 10th in tackles for loss allowed (3.86 avg/g); 14th in pass efficiency defense (109.69 rating); T22nd, Tackles for loss (7.00 avg/g) and sacks allowed (1.29 avg/g), and 24th in rushing offense (196.71 avg/g) ... With an 81-32 record, NDSU head coach Craig Bohl is No. 2 on the school's all-time win list behind Rocky Hager (91-25-1, 1987-95) ... Bohl is one of three Bison coaches with 60 wins ... Wide receiver Zach Vraa caught a career and season-high eight passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns vs. Prairie View A&M (9-22-12)... His 69-yard TD reception was the longest for NDSU since Nick Mertens and Gary Williams hooked up on a school record 95-yard score against Illinois State on Oct. 3, 2009 ... His 156 yards receiving were the most for a Bison receiver since Warren Holloway had 184 on seven catches against Western Illinois on Oct. 2, 2010 ... North Dakota State's 81 offensive plays against Colorado State (9-8-12) were its most since running 83 against Northern Iowa on Oct. 10, 2009 ... NDSU's 39:52 in time of possession at CSU was its most since holding the ball for 40:17 in a 51-14 win over Cal Poly on Nov. 11, 2006.
JENSEN ON TARGET: North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen is No. 2 all-time at NDSU in completions (393) and passing yards (4,881) ... Dating back to the second quarter vs. Sam Houston State (1-7-12), Jensen had attempted 140 passes without an interception ... He completed 15 of 23 passes for 200 yards and two TDs in the win over No. 3 Youngstown State (10-6-12) ... Jensen recorded his eighth career 200-yard passing game ... He completed 22 of 31 passes for a career-high 243 yards and one touchdown in the win at No. 14/17 Northern Iowa on Sept. 29 ... The 22 completions tied a career-high for Jensen and the 31 attempts are a career best ... Jensen completed 13 of 15 passes for 192 yards and three TDs in the first half against Prairie View A&M (9-22-12) ... The three TD passes tie a career-high for Jensen, set three times previously ... The 69-yard TD pass to Zach Vraa was the longest in his career ... Jensen completed 18 of 29 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown at Colorado State on Sept. 8 ... He also rushed 10 times for 42 yards ... Jensen directed an offense that ran 81 plays for 366 yards of total offense and held a 39:52-20:08 advantage in time of possession ... That included scoring drives of 12 plays for 67 yards (5:21), 10 plays for 53 yards (1:44) and 16 plays for 71 yards (9:29) ... Jensen completed 16 of 23 passes for 217 yards and three TDs vs. Robert Morris (9-1-12) ... Jensen threw four interceptions last season ... Following an interception at Southern Illinois, Jensen attempted 142 passes without a pick – adding to his NDSU record ... Jensen completed his first 15 passes vs. Missouri State (10-15-11) to break the school record of 10 in a row set three times previously ... Including the Southern Illinois game, he had completed 19 passes in a row to top the school record of 16 set by Steve Walker in 2004.
BISON IN THE POLLS: North Dakota State has been ranked in the top five for 37 weeks since moving NCAA Division I FCS including 18 weeks at No. 1 (Aug. 22, Sept. 3, Sept. 10, Sept. 17, Sept. 24, Oct. 5, Oct. 12; Jan. 9, 2012 / Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 2011 / Sept. 1-8, 2008 / Oct. 8-15-22-29, Nov. 5-12, 2007) ... NDSU was No. 3 in both the 2012 FCS Coaches and The Sports Network FCS Top Polls this week ... The Bison were ranked No. 1 in both the final FCS Coaches Poll and The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 polls released Jan. 9, 2012.
AGAINST THE NATIONALLY-RANKED: NDSU is 18-8 against nationally-ranked opponents and have won the last nine in a row (2012: W vs. Youngstown State; W at UNI; 2011: W vs. Sam Houston State; W vs. Georgia Southern; W vs. Lehigh; W vs. James Madison; W at Indiana State; W vs. Northern Iowa; W at Southern Illinois; 2010: L at Eastern Washington; W at Montana State, W vs. South Dakota; L at UNI; 2009: L at Southern Illinois, L vs. UNI; 2008, L at South Dakota State; L at Youngstown State, W at Southern Illinois, L vs. Western Illinois; L at UNI; 2007: W at Cal Poly, W at Western Illinois, W vs. Sam Houston State, 2006: W at Georgia Southern, W vs. Cal Poly, W vs. South Dakota State).