Beavers host Golden Eagles in annual Homecoming Game
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Beavers host Golden Eagles in annual Homecoming Game

Setting the Scene
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Bemidji, Minn.
1:00 p.m.
Chet Anderson Stadium
Stadium Capacity/Surface:
Local Radio:
WMIS 92.1 The River  
Brian Schultz
Brian Bissonette
Kelly Schultz
Internet Audio: and
Local Television:
KBSU Ch. 17
Scott Williams
Brett Leach
Web cast:

The Game
The Bemidji State University football team (1-3; 1-3 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC North) hosts University of Minnesota, Crookston (1-3; 1-3 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC North) Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contest at Chet Anderson Stadium in the annual Homecoming Game. The Beavers fell in their third straight contest Sept. 22 with a 21-5 loss at University of Sioux Falls - their third straight undefeated opponent. After falling in the first three games of the season, Minnesota, Crookston defeated Southwest Minnesota State University 33-28 in Crookston to snap a 39-game NSIC losing streak.

The Series
The Beavers are 18-1 all-time against the Golden Eagles and have won 13 straight meetings. The lone loss came in Crookston, Minn. in 1998. Last season in Crookston, the Beavers used a 17 point fourth quarter to own a 31-12 victory. Bemidji State head coach Jeff Tesch is 13-1 against UMC in his career at BSU and 13-0 in conference contests against the Golden Eagles. The two teams developed a traveling trophy in 2004, a Hubcap, to signify their Highway 2 rivalry. BSU is 8-0 in Hubcap games.

The Coaches
Bemidji State: Jeff Tesch
is in his 17th season roaming the sidelines at Bemidji State. He has posted an overall record of 107-70 (.605), which includes a 82-53 (.607) mark in NSIC tilts. In 17 seasons, Tesch has established BSU standards for games coached (177), victories (107), career winning percentage (.605) and conference wins (82). 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.

Minnesota, Crookston: Paul Miller took the reins of the Minnesota, Crookston football team in 2012 after serving as offensive coordinator at UMC during the 2011 season. Miller has over 35 years of experience as both a head and assistant coach at the high school and collegiate levels and brings to the Golden Eagles strong ties and knowledge of the Minnesota football landscape. Miller had two previous stints as a head coach in Minnesota at the NCAA Division III level, first at St. Olaf College from 1997-2001 and then at Hamline University from 2005-06.

The Program
Bemidji State is in its 87th season of football and owns an all-time record is 324-404-24 (.447) dating back to 1926, which includes a 185-254-9 (.423) 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 13 of the last 14 years and have registered 10 consecutive winning home campaigns.

Game Quick Snap
• Saturday’s game begins NSIC North play for both teams. The Beavers went 3-3 in NSIC North play in 2011.
• BSU has lost three straight for the first time since 2008 when it opened the season 1-3.
• UMC’s running back Richard Haley is the reining NSIC Offensive Player of the Week after posting 238 yards on 34 carries and three touchdowns last week in the Golden Eagle victory against Southwest Minnesota State. He is first in the NSIC in rushing with 140.8 yards per game.
• The Golden Eagles are fifth in the NSIC in rushing (183.5 yds/gm), but last in passing (108.5 yds/gm) and sit 13th in scoring (15.8 ppg).
• UMC ranks 16th in scoring defense, allowing 45.2 points per game.
• The Beavers have the second best pass defense (159.5 yds allowed per game) in the NSIC (21st nationally), while sitting third in total defense (29th nationally) after allowing an average of 295.5 yards in the first four games of the season.
• Junior punter/place kicker Zach Pulkinen is fifth in the NSIC punting average (39.5 yds/punt), senior quarterback Lance Rongstad is fifth in passing (235.7 yds/gm) and total offense (269.3 yds/gm) and senior linebacker Cory Crosby is eighth in the league in tackles with 40 (19 solo).
• The Beavers have lost 11 fumbles, five more than the second most lost in the league, and thrown four interceptions to total 15 turnovers that have led to 49 opponent points. BSU has allowed 102 points total this season, nearly half due to giveaways.
• BSU has four takeaways this season, tied for third least in the league for a -2.75 margin.

Season Long Count
• BSU has posted a winning record in 12 of the last 13 seasons under HC Jeff Tesch.
• The Beavers also have 10 consecutive winning seasons at home after going 5-1 in 2011 to tie a program record for wins at home (1985 - 5-0 and 2000 - 5-0).
• Tesch signed a new six-year contract extension over the summer.
• BSU was tabbed sixth overall and third in the NSIC North in the Preseason NSIC Coaches’ Poll.
• The Beavers returned 16 starters from a 2011 team that ranked in the national poll on three different occasions - including seven all-conference players.   
• The Beaver offense finished the 2011 season averaging 26.8 points per game and welcomed eight starters, including 2011 All-American and 2012 preseason All-American tight end Brian Leonhardt.
• The ‘Gang Green’ defense returned seven starters from a year ago. Anchored by preseason All-American nose guard Matthew Shaver, the BSU defense was one of the best in the conference in 2011 allowing just 16.0 points per contest to rank No. 3 in the nation.
• 2012 captains are senior quarterback Lance Rongstad and Leonhardt on the offensive side of the ball and the defensive captains are senior linebacker Cory Crosby and junior linebacker Buckley Wright.
• Leonhardt was named a preseason All-American by four publications. Senior return specialist Beau Wakefield and Shaver also earned preseason All-American laurels.
• Leonhardt owns 1,148 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 17-2 in his three-year career when he finds the end zone from the backfield. Through the air or on the ground, the Beavers hold a 18-3 record.
• 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.

Homecoming Tradition
The first Homecoming at Bemidji Teachers College was held Oct. 6, 1927. Until 1931, Homecoming was a biennial affair. In that year the demands of the alumni, eager for this season of reunion, change it to an annual celebration with all the traditional dinners, teas, parades, dances, bonfires and football games.
  Recently, BSU has been celebrating victories in the annual Homecoming football game with a post-game celebration in the waters of Lake Bemidji which borders Chet Anderson Stadium on the east.
  Under head coach Jeff Tesch, the Beavers hold an 11-5 record on Homecoming and are 4-1 in the last five games. BSU has never hosted Minnesota, Crookston in the annual celebration.

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