Putting a Wrap on the Regular
It's fitting that a game like that would take place in a town named Normal. Because it was nothing of the sort. The weather was the main culprit in the oddity that was the last 60 minutes of regular season Football for any team from the Fargo - Moorhead area. Each half clocked in at a little longer then 60 minutes of real time. 30 minutes of play in 60 minutes, the MLB should learn from them!
But it was just a strange afternoon of action in Illinois. Want a little more oddity? Jackson Koonce was the most important player for the Bison, and the Redbirds punter could probably be claimed as their MOP too but our guy did it better so he gets name recognition. That's not too discredit joy Stick because he did scored 2/3 of the team's touchdowns. Granted, the one yarder could have been finished by anyone but he cashed it in so he gets the credit for it. Even before those game defining points hit the scoreboard, he did everything the right way. He made good choices and didn't try to do too much, which is good because with the blizzard that was raging, doing much more then handing off or running it would have been too much!
And then there was Jabril. There was hype when he sent in his letter of intent. And it built higher when people got to see him play in the Green & Gold but the guy is taking it to another level. Every head coach & OC in the MVFC may already be pulling their hair out that the Bison have a guy with that much talent! Give him all the playoff practice time & the pressure of those games and NDSU may have their first early departure to the NFL. Okay, that's premature but honestly with what he is already doing, the guy will be a force for the next three years!
And he highlights something that I've been glad to see repeatedly this season - that Klieman is more then just a torchbearer for who coach Bohl left behind. It was going to take a few years for the roster to turnover but from the day that he was announced as the new HC until today I've been wondering about his recruiting ability. I think I can now breath a sigh of relief that he is more then capable to maintain the level of talent, and maybe even exceed what coach Bohl brought in - in some cases. Maybe there will never be another Carson Wentz but there also might never be another Jabril Cox once he's completed his time on the north side! Cofield, Cox, Engel, Radunz, Purifoy, Brooks, Karcz, Mercadel, Zach Johnson, Ellefson, Derrek Tuszka. All young guys on the team who were or are making an impact already. Does it mean that he'll most likely end up with a more lucrative and high profile position in the next few years? Probably but with those kind of guys coming in on a year by year basis the bridge to the next coach will go just as smoothly. And then he'll have to prove that he has the chops to keep the pool filled but that's a problem for another day.
So as the regular season comes to a close there is still a lot to look forward to. Another run to Frisco. Another championship. Another chance to beat the Rabbits in the playoffs...I'll get to it more tomorrow but I hope the committee doesn't do that again! And on this strange day that started in a town called Normal, we have put a bow on the 2017 as the champions of the best conference in FCS. It's old hat around here but we should not be too quick to dismiss it as a great accomplishment! Not the greatest, but a great one nonetheless!