Open-Field Tackling Big Key for Bison Football on Saturday

NDSU hosts Wofford at 11 a.m. in FCS Quarterfinals.

FARGO, N.D. — The FCS playoffs are down to the final eight teams. Surprise, surprise that includes
North Dakota State for the eighth consecutive year. The herd’s defense is the talk of the week as they get set to face their first ‘triple-option opponent of the year.

The Bison led the entire country in total defense and are top-ten in stopping the run. Tackling was key the last time these two teams faced off in the 2012 FCS quarterfinals. Former Bison linebacker Grant Olson recorded a school-record 29 tackles in the win.

Tough to expect anyone to put up numbers like that again this Saturday, but the herd’s defense does think that open-field tackling will be a key in Saturday’s battle with Wofford.

“It’ll be a ton of open-field tackles on the edge. I mean they’re going to try and stretch you out,” Robbie Grimsley said. “That is their thing, they stretch you out to the sideline, try to make one cut and get vertical. You gotta make sure that you are flying to the ball and wrapping up when you get there.”

Linebacker Nick DeLuca believes that staying on their assignments will also be key.

“It really comes down to just assignment football,” DeLuca said. “Whenever you have to defend the option you gotta have guys that are on each assignment and you can’t let one go because that is when big plays are made. So staying true to that and making tackles, making the plays when you have to is going to be big.”

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