Fargo, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- A lot will be made this week in talking about the Cal Poly offense.
The Mustangs run an option offense and the Bison defense will be tested early, outside of their base formation.
The early season match up provides it's own benefits for the Bison though as they have the benefit of time from Fall Camp and aren't forced to switch gears mid-season for a crash course.
"It's better now than in the middle of the season when you're getting in to a groove," said senior captain Aaron Steidl. "This year we get this one out of the way and it's kind of a good thing."
An added asset is the experience the Bison defense returns.
"We have seven returners on defense as starters and plenty of other guys that have substantial experience so it's awesome coming back," said Steidl. "More guys just putting in more film time. More juniors and seniors and even sophomores that played last year that are stepping up in some roles."
Let's not forget about the opposite match up this weekend though.
The Cal Poly defense plays a little different scheme from what the Bison typically see as well.
NDSU senior quarterback Easton Stick says their three-down front and blitzes and coverages will keep the offense on it's toes. But he adds, it just comes down to discipline and executing when opportunities present themselves.
"We're fortunate to have a ton of players that we can line up all over the place," Stick said. "Tight ends and running backs that are explosive and can catch the football and so I think that helps us be a little more multiple. Excited to see how that shakes out throughout the year and where guys end up playing and what we end up doing with them."
Stick says week one, in particular, is about finding a rhythm for this offense.
They are obviously missing a big target in RJ Urzendowski, along with Jeff Illies and Connor Wentz, but they have numbers and options Stick seems confident in.
A reminder you can join us for Bison football all season long.
Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with the Farmers Union Insurance Bison Football Pregame Show with kick off to follow at 2:30 p.m. on the KVLY and KFYR Bison Football Network.