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Beaveer Fever Friday – Football – Josh Wleh

NSIC Interdivisional play begins as Beavers travel to face Wildcats

Bemidji State University looks to bounce back from its first loss since October 2017 with a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Sept. 29 at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb. The Beavers and Wildcats open the first week of interdivisional play in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

THE SERIES

Wayne State holds an 11-8 lead in the series against Bemidji State.
Both teams have won two of the last four games in the series.
The series began Sept. 22, 1990, a 22-0 win by Wayne State.
The Beavers beat the Wildcats in their most recent matchup, 45-17, Sept. 17, 2016 in Bemidji, Minn.

THE TEAMS
Bemidji State

Head Coach Brent Bolte, in his third season, is 20-7 since taking over the program in 2016.

Bolte’s 20 wins are the most by any BSU head coach over their first three seasons.

Bemidji State fell to Minnesota Duluth for the 17th consecutive time following its 26-19 double overtime defeat.

Senior defensive back Gunner Olszewski became BSU’s all-time leader in solo tackles after tallying 10 against the Bulldogs. The Alvin, Texas native now holds 167 career solo tackles.

Senior wide receiver Landon Jones recorded his second 100-yard receiving game through his fourth game as a Beaver. He tallied 175 yards on four catches with a 66-yard touchdown reception and leads NCAA Division II with 34.5 yards per catch (among receivers with at least two catches per game). Jones is on pace to break BSU’s single-season record for yards per reception, which was set by Blake Holder in 2016 with 24.53 yards per reception.

The Beavers continue to be perfect in the red zone, scoring three times (1 TD/2 FG) within the 20-yardline against the Bulldogs. BSU is one of 11 teams with a perfect red zone offense, and leads those 11 teams with 19 red zone trips.

BSU’s red zone defense is also one of the tops in the nation, ranking second with a 42.9 percent red zone defense. The Beavers held the Bulldogs to 3-of-6 in scoring chances within the red zone and ranks second nationally on the season.

Saturday’s game against Minnesota Duluth was the first game of the season in which Bemidji State did not have a 100-yard running back.

True freshman Alec Ogden completed 5-of-10 pass attempts with two touchdowns and 168 yards. The duo of Ogden and junior quarterback Jared Henning combined for 249 passing yards, while BSU leads the nation with a passing efficiency of 187.2.

The “Gang Green” defense also ranks within the top 10 with a passing efficiency defense of 90.3.

Bemidji State continued to win the turnover battle against Minnesota Duluth, taking away an interception while not giving away a turnover. BSU ranks second in the nation with a 2.75 turnover margin.

Despite scoring a season-low 19 points against UMD, BSU ranks tied for fourth in the nation with 48.0 points per game.

Olszewski ranks third in the nation with a 25.1 punt return average and two returns of more than 35 yards on the season.

Olszewski was selected as the NSIC North Division Defensive Player of the Year and BSU’s Defensive Player to Watch for the second consecutive season. He has previously earned three All-NSIC Defensive First Team honors, All-NSIC Special Teams Honorable Mention, NSIC Newcomer of the Year, Lindy’s Sports Magazine Preseason All-Division II Second Team, Football Gameplan’s 2016 Preseason All-American Team, Conference Commissioner’s Association (CCA) All-Super Region Three Second Team Defense, three NSIC Player of the Week accolades and D2Football.com Defensive Player of the Week, after tying a program single-game record of three interceptions Oct. 31, 2015 at Minot State University.

Olszewski ranks third in BSU history with 830 career punt return yards and fifth with 11 interceptions. He moved into 10th all-time at BSU in total tackles over the weekend, coming into Saturday’s game against Wayne State with 285.

Lackowski was chosen as BSU’s Offensive Player to Watch in the 2018 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll after being selected 2017 All-NSIC North Division Offensive First Team.

Wayne State

WSC enters the weekend 1-3 after a 29-7 loss at Concordia University-St. Paul.

The Thursday night game was delayed twice for two hours due to rain and lightning.

Junior running back D’andre Vanexel scored WSC’s lone touchdown on a one-yard rush.

True freshman wide receiver Mason Lee totaled four catches for 70 yards.

Senior linebacker Romel Hill recorded a team-high 12 tackles.

The Wildcats come into the weekend 11th in total offense with 354.8 yards per game and fifth in total defense with 362.3 yards allowed per game.

WSC ranks third in the NSIC with 189.5 passing yards allowed per game and eighth with 172.8 rushing yards allowed per game.

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