NDSU Hoping to Limit Explosive Plays against Cal Poly’s Option Attack

The Bison open the season against Cal Poly on Saturday.

FARGO, N.D. — Last season, the only thing North Dakota State football was better at than scoring was keeping other teams from scoring.

The Bison allowed the fewest yards per game in the country (237.4) and the second-fewest points (11.6).

Their first test of 2018 comes against an opponent with a unique offense though.

Cal poly runs a triple-option, where most of their production comes on the ground.

The Mustangs like to chip away yardage and wear down opposing defenses.

The Bison are optimistic that they have the depth to keep fresh bodies in the game, but they are working on staying disciplined.

“They’re a really good team with the possibility to hit a really big play at any time,” senior linebacker Levi Jordheim said about Cal Poly. “That’s the thing with triple-option teams. They want to get explosive plays on you, and that’s what we’ve got to try to eliminate as a defense.”

Defensive tackle Aaron Steidl emphasized the importance of each defensive player doing his job.

“If one guy misses their guy, that could be a 30-yard run,” he said. “That’s what happens with option football. They get that three-yard, three-yard, three-yard. The next thing you know, they pop out a 30-yard run. That’s where mistakes happen.”

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