Bemidji State hosts Minot State in season finale
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Bemidji State hosts Minot State in season finale

Setting the Scene
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m.
Stadium: Chet Anderson Stadium
Stadium Capacity/Surface: 2,500/Grass
Local Radio: WMIS 92.1 The River   
Play-by-play: Brian Bissonette
Analyst: Steve Pappas
Sidelines: none
Internet Audio: and
Local Television: KBSU Ch. 17
Scott Williams
Brett Leach
Web cast:

The Game
The Bemidji State University football team (6-4; 6-4 NSIC, 5-1 NSIC North) plays for a share of the NSIC North Division title Nov. 10 on Senior Day for 17 student-athletes. BSU hosts Minot State University (3-7; 3-7 NSIC, 3-3 NSIC North) in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North contest at Chet Anderson Stadium and a win secures a share of the North title with the winner of the University of Minnesota Duluth and Northern State University contest being played Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. Bemidji State hosted Minnesota State University Moorhead last week and defeated the Dragons 35-25 to retain the Battle Axe and win its fifth game in the last six contests. The fellow Beavers in Minot State hosted St. Cloud State University Nov. 3 and fell 57-10.

The Series
BSU has played Minot State as a nonconference foe for the past 13 years and owns a 12-1 advantage in the all-time series. Bemidji State welcomes Minot State to Bemidji for the second consecutive season after defeating the visiting Beavers 27-0 a season ago. BSU has won nine straight and are 5-1 at home, with the lone series loss coming in 2002 by the score of 35-28.

The Coaches
Bemidji State: Jeff Tesch is in his 17th season roaming the sidelines at Bemidji State. He has posted an overall record of 112-71 (.612), which includes a 87-54 (.617) mark in NSIC tilts. In 17 seasons, Tesch has established BSU standards for games coached (183), victories (112), career winning percentage (.612) and conference wins (87). He secured his 100th victory at BSU in grand fashion with a 30-27 overtime upset road victory at then-No. 16 Augustana College Sept. 10, 2011. Prior to his tenure at BSU, Tesch, a two-time NSIC Coach of the Year (1999 and 2006), spent 12 years as an assistant at North Dakota, two on the staff of Central Missouri and one season at Montana State. More information on Tesch on page 8.

Minot State: Paul Rudolph is in his sixth season at the helm of the Minot State football program with a 31-30 record. He posted a 26-15 record in his first four seasons, led the Beavers to the NAIA Playoffs for the first time in eight seasons in 2009, won his second share of the Dakota Athletic Conference title in three seasons and guided the Beavers in the transition to Division II. He was named the DAC Coach of the Year in 2007. Rudolph came to Minot State by the way of St. Cloud State, where he was the Offensive Coordinator and offensive line coach for seven seasons. He is a graduate from Minot State, playing quarterback and participating in track and field.

The Program
Bemidji State is in its 87th season of football and owns an all-time record is 329-405-24 (.450) dating back to 1926, which includes a 190-255-9 (.428) mark in NSIC play. The Beavers own five conference titles (1947, 50, 57, 59 and 2006) and count the 2006 Mineral Water Bowl as their first post-season appearance. Under the direction of Tesch, BSU has posted winning records in 14 of the last 15 years and have registered 11 consecutive winning home campaigns.

Game Quick Snap
• The win Nov. 3 against MSU Moorhead secured head coach Jeff Tesch’s 14th winning season and 14th in the last 15 years for BSU, as well as, the 11th consecutive season with a winning record at home. The Beavers are 4-1 at home this season and are 21-6 in the last five seasons at the Chet.
• With a win against Minot State, the 2012 class will have won 30 overall games to sit tied for second all-time among classes. The 2012 squad already has the record for conference wins with 26.
                  Wins        Class (Conference Wins)   
                  31             2006 (22), 2007 (23)             
                  30             2001 (21), 2002 (23)
                  29             2003 (22), 2009 (25), 2012 (26)         
• Minot State ranks 11th or worse in most of the NSIC offensive categories and will go up against the Gang Green defense of the Beavers that ranks top six in four major defensive categories.
                  Category (Stats)                     NSIC Rk National Rk
                  Total Defense (319.5 ydsg)                  2                23
                  Rushing Defense (110.2 yds/g)          3                25
                  Scoring Defense (20.6 pts/g)              3                30
                  Passing Defense (209.3 yds/g)          6                65            
• The Beavers have improved their turnover margin during the second half of the season and rank tied for 11th in the league with a -5 margin. Minot State is last in the NSIC with a -19 margin.
• The Beavers have the best red zone defense in the NSIC, allowing their opponent to score just 66.7 percent (26-for-39) of the time. BSU has allowed 20 red zone touchdowns and six field goals, while forcing two fumbles, intercepting two passes and stopping the offense on downs on four occasions. The MSU Beavers bring in the 15th ranked red zone offense, scoring 58.3 percent of the time getting inside the opponent 20 (11 TDs, 3 FGs).
• BSU touts the fourth best red zone offense, scoring 83.9 percent of the time. The Beavers have scored 22 touchdowns and four field goals with two fumbles and one turnover on downs. 
• BSU defense ranks first in least opponent third down conversions, allowing a first down just 31.3 percent of the time (42-of-134). Minot State is 13th in third down conversions, finding a first down 33.8 percent of the time (48-for-142).

Season Long Count
• Ball Control - The Beavers are third in the league in time of possession, owning the ball for 31:59 per game.
• The Beavers have turned 31 first downs and 490 yards into 28 points on their first drive of the game. In its first drive of the second half, BSU has totaled 11 first downs for 186 points and zero points.
• No surprise, the Beavers have scored 132 points in the first half and 84 in the second.
• BSU leads the league in fumbles lost with 17, three more than the second most lost.
• The Beavers’ 17 fumbles and eight interceptions total 25 turnovers that have led to 78 opponent points. BSU has also had three punts blocked that have totaled 21 points. Overall, the Beavers have allowed 206 points this season, almost half due to giveaways and blocked punts (99 points).
• Senior tight end Brian Leonhardt owns 1,394 career receiving yards, ranking second among Bemidji State tight ends since 1971 (Bruce Ecklund, 1,542 yards, 1980-83).
• The Beavers were 4-1 in 2011 when senior Dustin Kroeplin rushed for a touchdown and are 20-2 in his career when he finds the end zone from the backfield. Through the air or on the ground, the Beavers hold a 20-3 record. BSU is 3-0 in 2012 when he scores.
• Senior wide receiver Justin Lee went over the 1,000 career receiving yards plateau Oct. 20 at Minnesota Duluth, he now has 1,126 career receiving yards. He has six 70+ receiving games this season - including four in a row -, and posted a career-high 122 against Wayne State Sept. 15.
• Head coach Jeff Tesch earned his 110th victory at Bemidji State in his 180th game Oct. 13 in the 23-6 home victory against Northern State

 NSIC Players of the Week
• For the first time since 2006, Bemidji State has had an NSIC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week in the same season.
• Senior quarterback Lance Rongstad was named NSIC Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 4 after his performance against Upper Iowa. He totaled 228 passing yards, a career-high four passing touchdowns and led the team in rushing with 58 yards.
• He was the first NSIC Offensive Player of the Week from Bemidji State since Anthony Schreiber in 2006.
• Junior kicker/punter Zach Pulkinen was named NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week Oct. 15 after his performance against Northern State to become the first BSU player to earn special teams honors from the league since 2010.
• Senior linebacker Cory Crosby totaled a career-high 17 tackles Nov. 3, established career-highs for assisted tackles (13), tackles for loss (4.5) and matched his career-high for sacks with 2.5. His tackles for loss set back the Dragon offense 23 yards. The 4.5 tackles for loss also matched an NSIC high-water mark for 2012.

For more information on the Bemidji State football program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BemidjiStateFB or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook ( or or sign up for the TXTUpdates from text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).