BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University opens the 94th season of Beaver Football Thursday, Sept. 5 with a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division matchup at Northern State University. The Beavers and Wolves kickoff the 2019 season at 6 p.m. from Swisher Field in Aberdeen, S.D.
- Bemidji State leads the all-time series against Northern State, 22-19-1.
- BSU has won four straight against NSU and 15 of the last 19 matchups.
- The Beavers and Wolves have played every season since 1980.
- BSU and NSU have only met once in a season opener, ending in a 38-17 win by Bemidji State August 30 to begin the 2018 season.
- The series began Sept. 27, 1957, a 14-13 win by NSU in Bemidji.
- Bemidji State returns 13 starters on offense, defense and special teams, and 45 total letter winners for its 94th season as a program.
- Beavers Offensive Player to Watch Nick Niemi anchors the offensive line during his senior season after starting 14 of 25 career games in the Green and White.
- Niemi, a 2018 Don Hansen All-Super Region Four Third Team Offense selection, helped BSU rank third in the NSIC with 38.2 points per game, fourth with 214.7 rushing yards per game and fifth with 393.9 total yards per game.
- The Beavers return two All-NSIC members on offense and four All-NSIC members on defense, including BSU’s Defensive Player to Watch and 2019 NSIC North Division Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, junior linebacker Gabe Ames.
- Ames is a two-time All-NSIC selection and has started 16 of 22 career games while finishing last season with a team-high 81 tackles, which ranked 13th in the conference, and 12.0 tackles for a loss.
- Ames recorded seven pass breakups, two forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and one interception with three games of at least 13 tackles, including a career-high 15 tackles against Minnesota State University, Mankato.
- As a unit, the “Gang Green” led the NSIC in turnover margin at +16, interceptions with 21, red zone defense at 61.9 percent and red zone offense at 90 percent.
- BSU also ranked second with a 107.1 passing defense efficiency, fourth with 19.1 points allowed per game and fourth with 112.0 rushing yards allowed per game.
- Last season, BSU excelled on the ground with 216.5 rushing yards per game while NSU allowed 145.7 yards per game.
- In the 2018 season opener, freshman quarterback Brandon Alt began his career with 199 passing yards and three touchdowns in BSU’s victory over NSU. BSU also ran the ball efficiently with two 100+ yard rushers, including 109 yards on 16 carries by sophomore running back Jalen Frye.
- Northern State football finished the 2018 season 4-7 overall and 3-4 in the NSIC North Division.
- The Wolves return 14 starters from last season, while welcoming one of the largest freshmen classes in the Dosch era (46). Four All-NSIC honorees return to the field on offense including quarterback Hunter Trautman, offensive lineman Drew Fahrman, and wide receivers Jacob Streit and Dakota Larson. The tag team of Streit and Larson made an instant impact for the Wolves in the first season while Larson earned NSIC North Division Newcomer of the Year and Streit was named to the 2018 Don Hansen All-America team.
- Fahrman and Zach Mohs were named the NSU Players to Watch this season, as they anchor both the offensive and defensive lines heading into their senior campaigns.
- In addition to the new Wolves in uniform, Northern State welcomes coordinators Austin Flyger and Quinn Schafer in their first seasons, as well as offensive line coach Jon Roy.
For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUBeaversFB), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers or facebook.com/BSUBeaverFootball) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).