Beaver Fever Friday – James Moe – Football

Beavers set to face No. 25 Vikings in NCAA First Round Saturday

The first-ever NCAA Division II Football Championship appearance for (RV) Bemidji State University football is set to kickoff at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 at No. 25 Augustana University. The Beavers (9-2, 6-0 NSIC North) and Vikings (9-2, 5-1 NSIC South) meet for the second time this season with the winner advancing to the second round.

Augustana leads the all-time series, 8-3. The Vikings have won four of the last five meetings with the Beavers’ most recent win coming on Oct. 5, 2019, a 21-20 victory on Homecoming in Bemidji, Minn. AU led the first meeting of 2021 by 11 points at halftime, 21-20, before a game-high lead of 28, 38-10, at the end of the third quarter. Augustana scored in all four quarters while Bemidji State was held scoreless in the first and third quarters.

The Beavers put together 392 yards of total offense but gave away three interceptions. The Vikings totaled 514 yards of offense, including 316 passing yards and 198 rushing yards.

The series first began on Sept. 23, 1961, a 22-6 win by Augustana in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Bemidji State secured its first ever trip to the NCAA postseason following a 62-40 win over the University of Mary on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Chet Anderson Stadium in Bemidji, Minn. The Beavers closed the regular season 9-2 overall, just the fourth 9-win season in the program’s 94 year history.

Head Coach Brent Bolte was named the 2021 NSIC Coach of the Year following BSU’s historic season and is responsible for two of BSU’s four 9-win seasons. Bolte led Bemidji State to its sixth NSIC Overall Championship, third NSIC North Championship and its third postseason appearance overall (Mineral Water Bowl in 2006 and 2016). Bolte has the Beavers on a seven-game winning streak, the longest streak in the NSIC and the longest streak for BSU in a single season in program history.

Offensive coordinator Karson Pike, in his fifth season overall at BSU, was named the 2021 NSIC Assistant Coach of the Year. He has coordinated the nation’s fifth-best passing offense and seventh-best total offense, which was developed by an offensive line that ranks fourth in the country and leads the conference in sacks allowed. Pike has guided Harlon Hill nominee Brandon Alt to an NSIC and BSU single-season record 43 passing touchdowns.

Bemidji State continued to receive votes in the AFCA Top 25 Poll for the fourth straight week.

With a win against Augustana, the 2021 senior class would become the winningest class in program history with 33 victories over the past four seasons.

BSU’s offense continued its high-power attack with its third straight game of over 500 yards, its first such streak of at least three games since 2017. The Beavers scored two touchdowns through each of the first three quarters against the Marauders and three in the fourth for its highest scoring output of the season.