The Bemidji State University football team (0-1; 0-1 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC North) welcomes University of Sioux Falls (1-0; 1-0 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC South) to Chet Anderson Stadium for an interdivisional match up. The game also serves as BSU’s annual Shrine Game. A special presentation will take place at halftime.
Bemidji State and USF meet for just the fourth time in the history of the programs. USF holds 2-1 in the all-time series as the home team has won each of the previous meetings. The Cougar’s only other visit to Chet Anderson Stadium came Sept. 9, 1983. In that nonconference match up, the Beavers handed USF a 31-0 loss. The last time BSU and USF met, and the only other NSIC meeting between the teams, Sept. 22, 2012, BSU dropped a road game to the Cougars, 21-5.
Bemidji State: The Beavers suffered their first season-opening loss in seven years last week when they dropped a NSIC contest at Wayne State College, 35-13. After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, freshman quarterback Jordan Hein rallied the team to within a point, 14-13 late in the second quarter. However, the Wildcats capitalized on a short field and take a 21-13 lead into halftime. BSU struggled to generate any offensive consistency in the second half and a punishing WSC running attack wore down the Gang Green defense in the loss.
Hein led the Beavers on the ground and in the air. In his first collegiate start, the freshman rushed for 83 yards on 23 carries, while completing 13 of 29 pass attempts for 219 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Sophomore slot receiver Brady Schmidt caught five passes for 58 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown strike. Defensively, junior linebacker Connor Quinn totaled eight tackles, while Greg Button picked up a loose ball for the Beavers only turnover of the day.
Sioux Falls: The Cougars, who received votes in the American Football Coaches Association Poll this week, are coming off a convincing 41-14 victory over Minot State University. USF rolled up 497 yards of total offense, including 212 on the ground. Sophomore quarterbacks Luke Papilion and Matthew Young combined to complete 26 of 31 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Nephi Garcia carried the ball 22 times for a team-best 89 yards and two rushing touchdowns. A defense that may have been the Cougars’ weakness a year ago, posted five quarterback sacks and two turnovers, while holding Minot State to 182 yards, including a meager 24 yards on the ground to rank USF in the top five nationally.