Bison football preparing for three brand new non-conference opponents

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:20 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - With the 2022 season under a month away, the NDSU Bison are prepping for a brand new slate of non-conference opponents, and head coach Matt Entz spoke with us at the NDSU Media Day about his team’s focus.

“We put a lot of offense and defense in fall camp that isn’t necessarily for game one.” Entz said. “The retention is for our players that we may bring back for game three, four, five, six. Maybe game eleven.”

And those first three games will be Drake, North Carolina A&T, and Arizona, the first Power 5 FBS opponent for the Bison since their 2016 victory over Iowa.

“Three new opponents that we have not played, none of these players have ever played, and so that to me is exciting. But never pinpointing anybody.” added Entz.

His players share the same sentiment, newer teams bringing newer challenges, but they say focus needs to remain grounded.

“It’s exciting to see some new faces, and see some new teams like on the schedule. And just focusing in on our craft, and just focusing, like right now, we’re just focusing on ourselves and getting better each day.” said Senior Safety Dawson Weber. “The moment you take a game for granted, is the moment you look back and have regrets. So, that’s the biggest thing right now, is just living and playing in the moment, and just taking each day by itself.”

That mentality has shown up in those big games, as the Bison are a perfect 6-0 against FBS Power 5 opponents since 2010 with an average margin of victory of just over 9 points per game.

“Just to be detailed in everything you do. Never seen these guys, never played against these guys, they could come out with anything, so we gotta be ready to go.” Senior Wide Receiver Phoenix Sproles said. “Obviously, we have Drake first, so after fall camp, we’re gonna be dialed in on those two weeks we have to prepare for them. We’re gonna do everything we can to stop them, and have success on the field for us.”

The Bison start their Non-Con Gauntlet on September 3rd, hosting the Drake Bulldogs. Once they return from their week three Arizona trip, it’s all Missouri Valley Football Conference opponents until playoffs.

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