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Bison Open Home Schedule With Maine in 34th Annual Trees Bowl Game

THIS WEEK: No. 2-ranked North Dakota State (1-0) hosts the Maine Black Bears (0-1) of the Coastal Athletic Association in the home opener at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome (18,700).

TREES BOWL: This is the 34th annual Trees Bowl game sponsored by the North Dakota Forest Service. NDSU has a 29-3 record in the Trees Bowl. The 2001 game, also scheduled against Maine, was canceled due to the 9/11 attacks. NDSU has won 14 straight Trees Bowl games including last year’s 43-3 victory over North Carolina A&T.

TELEVISION: The statewide ABC network of WDAY (Fargo), WDAZ (Grand Forks), KBMY (Bismarck/Dickinson) and KMCY (Minot/Williston) will have live coverage beginning at 2:20 p.m. with Dom Izzo (play-by-play), Kyle Emanuel (analyst) and Logan Campbell (sideline). The broadcast will be available to ESPN+ subscribers on ESPN.com and the ESPN app.

RADIO: Statewide network coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. on the Pioneer Seeds Bison Sports Network including Bison 1660 and 107.9 The Fox in Fargo with Sam Neidermann (play-by-play), Phil Hansen (analyst) and James Hendricks (sideline). The network broadcast includes 1-hour pregame and 30-minute postgame shows. Streaming is available on GoBison.com/allaccess and the NDSU Athletics mobile app.

TICKETS: Tickets may be purchased online at GoBison.com/tickets or by calling the Bison Ticket Office in the south lobby of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex at (701) 231-6378 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Game day ticket sales at the Fargodome begin 5 hours prior to kickoff.

THE SERIES: This is the first meeting between Maine and North Dakota State. The Bison and Black Bears were scheduled to play at the Fargodome in 2001, but the game was canceled due to the 9/11 attacks.

LAST WEEK: North Dakota State opened the season with a 35-10 victory over Big Sky Conference opponent Eastern Washington in the first collegiate football game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Maine is coming off a 14-12 loss at Florida International, an FBS opponent from Conference USA.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: North Dakota State safety Cole Wisniewski was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week and punter Kaedin Steindorf was named Special Teams Player of the Week for their performances against Eastern Washington. Wisniewski made a game- and career-high 11 tackles with his first career interception, and Steindorf averaged 47.2 yards per punt on four attempts with three inside the 20 and two inside the 10. It was the first player of the week award for both.

HOME SWEET HOME: North Dakota State is home for its next three games hosting Maine and Central Arkansas before a bye week and the homecoming game against South Dakota in the Missouri Valley Football Conference opener. NDSU will not play a true road game until Oct. 7 at Missouri State, which will be the latest date for a first road game since 1961 when the Bison lost 7-6 at Morningside on Oct. 7.

HOME OPENERS: North Dakota State has a 98-22-5 record in home openers including last year’s 56-14 victory over Drake. The Bison have won 24 straight home openers since a 23-21 loss to Emporia State in 1998.

CAPTAINS NAMED: North Dakota State’s six captains for the 2023 football season are WR Zach Mathis, QB Cam Miller, CB Jayden Price, LB Luke Weerts, DT Eli Mostaert and OG Jake Kubas. All are first-time team captains with the Bison.

ENTZ WINS NO. 50: Fifth-year NDSU head coach Matt Entz has a 50-7 record and is seventh on the all-time wins list at North Dakota State. He is one of eight different head coaches to win a national title at North Dakota State.
NDSU Coaching Wins
        104 – Craig Bohl, 2003-2013 (104-32)
        91 – Rocky Hager, 1987-1996 (91-25-1)
        69 – Chris Klieman, 2014-2018 (69-6)
        61 – Ron Erhardt, 1966-1972 (61-7-1)
        57 – Don Morton, 1979-1984 (57-15)
        57 – C.C. Finnegan, 1928-1940 (57-49-11)

SUNDELL ON SENIOR BOWL LIST: North Dakota State left tackle Jalen Sundell was named to the preseason watch list for the Reese’s Senior Bowl, widely regarded as the top college football all-star game. Sundell the past three seasons has been NDSU’s starting center, a position he hadn’t played prior to the 2020-21 season. The Bison have had 12 players selected, including left tackle Cody Mauch last year.

WATCH LISTS: NDSU has three players on watch lists for national player of the year awards. Running back TaMerik Williams is on the preseason list for the Walter Payton Award, presented to the FCS offensive player of the year. Defensive tackle Eli Mostaert is on the preseason list for the Buck Buchanan Award, presented to the FCS defensive player of the year. Punter Kaedin Steindorf is on the list for FCS Punter of the Year.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: NDSU defensive tackle Eli Mostaert, long snapper Hunter Brozio, offensive lineman Jalen Sundell and running back TaMerik Williams were named to the Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America Team. Mostaert was also named to the HERO Sports All-FCS preseason team, and Mostaert and Sundell made Phil Steele’s FCS Preseason All-America Team.

BISON PICKED NO. 2: North Dakota State was picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Football Conference behind defending national champion South Dakota State. NDSU took 14 spots on the MVFC preseason team, including four first-team picks in FB Hunter Brozio, OL Jalen Sundell, DL Eli Mostaert and RS Jayden Price. Second team picks were RB TaMerik Williams, TE Joe Stoffel, OL Jake Kubas and Brandon Westberg, DL Will Mostaert, LB Cole Wisniewski, CB Jayden Price and K Griffin Crosa. WR Zach Mathis and LB Nick Kubitz were honorable mention.

CROSA CONNECTS: Bison kicker Griffin Crosa has made 94 consecutive PATs dating back to 2019. He is sixth all-time at NDSU in PATs made and seventh in attempts (138-for-139) and his career PAT percentage of 99.3 is second in school history behind Jake Reinholz, who was 87-for-87 from 2018 to 2021. Crosa is eighth all-time at NDSU with 23 field goals made and ranks first with an 82.1 career field goal percentage (23-for-28).

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: North Dakota State is 77-4 against non-conference opponents since the beginning of its first FCS national championship season in 2011. One loss was to a Pac-12 opponent (31-28 at Arizona in 2021) and two were in the playoffs to the eventual national champion (27-17 to James Madison in 2016 and 24-20 at Sam Houston State in 2020-21). Montana’s 38-35 home win in the 2015 FCS Kickoff is NDSU’s only other non-conference loss the past 12 years.

BISON AT HOME: The Bison have a 184-28 record in the Fargodome, 33-6 at home against FCS Top 10 ranked teams, and winners of 79 of the last 81 home games over non-conference opponents. North Dakota State has a 34-1 record in the Fargodome during the NCAA playoffs since 2010 with the only loss coming to eventual national champion James Madison in the 2016 semifinals. NDSU’s 32-game home winning streak September 2017 through April 2021 was fourth longest in FCS history.

Source: NDSU