BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University football team (4-3, 3-0 NSIC North) returns home after a two-game road trip to host St. Cloud State University (4-3, 2-1 NSIC North) at 1 p.m. in Chet Anderson Stadium. The Beavers and Huskies will meet for the 59th time in the series history following a four-game win streak by BSU.
The Beavers are currently riding a four-game win streak, including three straight to open the NSIC North schedule. The win streak was in doubt entering halftime of last week’s game at Minnesota State University Moorhead, facing a 28-7 deficit. The Beavers scored 35 unanswered points through the second half to earn “The Battle Axe” traveling trophy, 42-28. Quarterback Jordan Hein threw for career-highs in yards (290) and touchdowns (5) while helping score on five consecutive drives during the comeback. He placed himself tied for 10th in BSU single-season passing touchdowns with 17 while also moving into a tie for eighth all-time in program history in passing touchdowns with 27.
SCSU travels to Bemidji after a 42-28 win at home against Minot State University. Three running backs rushed for over 100 yards while each recording touchdowns. The Huskies totaled 46 rushes compared to just 18 pass attempts. Quarterback Nate Meyer completed nine passes for 126 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Meyer also rushed for a touchdown.
SCSU leads the all-time series, 37-18-3, including a 3-2 mark in the last five meetings. The Huskies won the most recent matchup, 30-27, in St. Cloud, Minn., Nov. 1, 2014. The Beavers comeback bid was shut down after scoring the final 19 points of the game, all coming in the fourth quarter. Prior to falling in the last two games to St. Cloud State, Bemidji State won two in a row, including a 19-14 win against a No. 6 ranked SCSU team in 2011.
Head Coach Jeff Tesch, now in his 20th season at BSU, has coached in all seven of the meetings since a 26-year hiatus in the series between 1981-2007. The Beavers are 2-5 overall and 1-2 in Bemidji during those games.
Bemidji State: Hein is behind the wheel of a blossoming offense for a Beavers’ squad that is returning 10 of 11 starters from a season ago. BSU ranks seventh in the NSIC in scoring offense with 32.9 points per game. Running back Tahi Nomane leads the sixth ranked NSIC rushing offense while recording two 100-yard rushing games, including rushing for 106 yards and one touchdown a week ago. Nomane’s two 100+ yard games are his first with the Beavers, while Gena Adams also reached the century mark with 155 yards against University of Minnesota, Crookston. No Beavers running back reached 100+ yards in a game last season.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker and 2014 All-NSIC Second Team pick Colton Blascyk shoulders the load for an inexperienced Gang Green defense, which lost eight regular starters from 2014. He is currently second on the team in tackles with 53, including 6.5 tackles for a loss and a team-high four sacks. Freshman cornerback Gunner Olszewski has not let his inexperience affect him, as he leads the team with 54 tackles and also recorded two interceptions and one forced fumble. Junior Damon Benham ranks third in tackles with 44, while recording three interceptions, eigth pass break-ups, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
St. Cloud State: The Huskies boast the fifth-ranked scoring offense (33.9 ppg) in the NSIC while allowing the eighth fewest points (24 ppg). In total offense, SCSU ranks third with 453.4 yards per game behind quarterback Meyer, who ranks sixth in the NSIC in passing yardage per game with 252.3. Huskies’
The Huskies’ only loss in the NSIC North came to No. 20 University of Minnesota Duluth, 34-27, in Duluth, Minn. SCSU has been outscored 96-74 in its losses and has outscored its opponents 163-72 in its wins.
A Glance Ahead
It’s the battle of the Beavers as Bemidji State travels to Minot State next week for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff in Herb Parker Stadium. BSU and MSU will meet for the 17th all-time game in the two programs’ histories. Bemidji State leads the series, 15-1, recording its only loss, 35-28, on Sept. 7, 2002. The Beavers of MSU are 1-6 overall and 1-2 in the NSIC North. MSU earned its only win of the season on the road while taking down University of Mark, 15-9.
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).