The offense is ahead of the defense, that much is certain of today’s first scrimmage of NDSU spring football. It also was to be expected considering the Bison lost some heavy hitters on defense from last year. “We weren’t as sharp defensively but give credit to the offense,” said head coach Chris Klieman. “I think they’re a step ahead right now.”
Try these stats on for being a step ahead: Quarterback Carson Wentz was 10 of 12 passing for 158 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Lance Dunn had 135 yards on 13 carries including a 98-yard touchdown run when he showed his 100-meter high school track speed. “He’s a home run hitter,” Klieman said. “When he broke outside, I raised my hands up; it was a touchdown. Nobody was going to catch him.”
Four players had touchdown receptions in Andrew Bonnet, Zach Vraa, Tyler Wrice and Khayvon Hawkins. The fact veterans like Vraa are not being held back from contact (unlike the last two springs) is a testament to a more physical approach the Bison are taking with a younger team. Freshman linebacker Levi Jordheim (story in Sunday’s Forum) and freshman safety Isaac Cenescar had five tackles each. Sophomore safety Chris Board had an interception.
“This is the first time since I’ve been here that we had this long of a scrimmage with this much contact,” Klieman said, “where we didn’t hold out like 13 kids who played 55, 60 games. Everybody was live that could go live today with the exception of Carson. It will give us a great evaluation to see where we’re at.”
Klieman said there were no injuries of significance. Defensive tackle Nate Tanguay and offensive tackle Landon Lechler will probably be held out the rest of the spring with sprained ankles. In the backup quarterback battle department, sophomore Cole Davis was 6 for 12 for 82 yards, no touchdowns and an interception and freshman Easton Stick was 4 of 7 for 42 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.