Beaver Fever Friday – Spencer Wehr – Football

No. 11/10 Beavers travel to Marshall for Saturday night tilt with Mustangs

Bemidji State is coming off a dominating 49-13 season opening win over Northern State

The first road game of the season arrives this Saturday night when the No. 11/10 Bemidji State University Football team will travel to Marshall to battle Southwest Minnesota State with kickoff set for 5 p.m. at Mattke Field in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.

It was a great start to the 2023 season for the Beavers as they cruised to the 49-13 win over Northern State. BSU held a commanding 36-6 halftime lead and never looked back. The 36 points at halftime happened for the second straight year as Bemidji State also had 36 at the half against Minot State last season. It was a balanced attack as the Beavers threw for 213 yards and rushed for 212 yards. Dating back to the 2019 season, Bemidji State has now gone 27 straight games throwing for more yards than rushing. Five times during the 2019 season the Beavers had more rushing than passing yards.

Senior Ali Mohamed made a great first impression in his debut as the NSIC transfer from Minot State broke off a pair of big touchdown runs going for 57 yards and then 47 yards. Overall he rushed for 113 yards on just seven carries, averaging 16.1 yards per carry. Senior Brandon Alt threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Dhel Duncan-Busby caught three passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Jake Hill added three catches for 71 yards.

Defensively, the Beavers picked off four passes which leads the NSIC and is tied for the most in the nation. BSU added four sacks and Isaiah Johnson led the way with eight solo tackles. Princeten Harris had three passes defended, as the Beavers had seven as a team. The defense held Northern State under 100 yards rushing, which is the eighth time a team has been held under 100 on the ground over the last 14 games.

Special teams had a strong debut as well. Marko Jovisic connected on both field goals and was five-for-five on extra points. Landon Arends kicked off nine times, averaging 59.2 yards per kick and four touchbacks. Elliott Lowney punted five times for an average of 37.20. he had two land inside the 20 and one travel 62 yards.

Bemidji State remained ranked No. 11 by AFCA and No. 10 by

The Beavers are 26-21-1 in the series against Southwest Minnesota State and have won four straight in the series. In fact, Bemidji State has won 17 of the last 18 meetings since 1998.

Bemidji State Notes

Brent Bolte is now tied for second in program history for wins as a head coach (53) with H.J. Erickson. His .736 winning percentage is the best all-time and he is second in program history for conference wins at 50

It was a dominating home opener against Northern State as Bemidji State rolled to the 49-13 win. The Beavers led 36-6 at halftime, scoring 36 points in a half for the second straight season after tallying 36 against Minot State in 2022

Bemidji State remains ranked high in all of the national polls. The Beavers were ranked eighth in the Lindy’s College Magazine, and remain 10th in the poll and 11th by the AFCA. BSU was also the preseason favorite to win the NSIC

BSU leads or is tied for the NSIC lead in 11 categories following week one.

In 72 games under Bolte, BSU has scored less than 20 points just seven times, which occurred once last year

Forty-one of Bolte’s wins have come when scoring at least 30 points

Bemidji State has gone 10-3 on the road over the past two seasons and have won the last two trips to Marshall including last year’s 34-15 victory.

BSU has won 17 of the last 18 games against SMSU since 1997 and have won four straight in the series. Over those four games, BSU is averaging 36.75 points, while allowing 18.75

The Beavers have a couple of players ranked high individually in the NSIC through week one with Marko Jovisic leading the NSIC in field goals per game (2), Marcus Hansen in sacks (1.50), Princeten Harris in passes defended (3), and Dhel Duncan-Busby is tied for first in receiving touchdowns (2).

Nationally, Jovisic is seventh in field goals per game, Harris is seventh in passes defended, and Hansen is 21st in sacks. Isaiah Johnson is fifth in solo tackles (8), Duncan-Busby is tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns and Jake Hill is ninth in punt return yards (18).

Bolte is 4-0 against Southwest Minnesota State and is 2-0 in Marshall outscoring the Mustangs 59-39.

Bemidji State holds a 26-21-1 series record against Southwest Minnesota State since 1970 and are 11-14 in Marshall, but have won eight of the last nine on the road.

Bolte is 26-11 on the road as head coach and has had a winning record away from Bemidji each season as head coach.

Bemidji State is just three wins away from reaching 400 in program history.

Including his time as an assistant, Bolte is 161-87 with the Beavers

The Beavers are 10-3 on the road over the past two seasons, winning five games in each of the past two years.

The defense didn’t allow any team to rush for over 200 yards last year and seven times held teams under 100 rushing yards. So far in 2023, the Beavers limited Northern State under 100 rushing yards.

When BSU’s scores first, the Beavers have gone 16-2 over the past two-plus seasons including week one this year.

BSU capitalized in the red zone last year converting on 52-of-61 trips to score 314 points. 41 of those times ended in a touchdown. So far in 2023, the Beavers are a perfect 5-5 inside the 20 and have scored 26 points.

On the flip side of that, the defense held teams to just 33 trips inside the 20 and 22 scores, with 17 ending up as touchdowns. So far in 2023, the defense allowed just two trips inside the 20 and one touchdown against the Wolves.

The defense forced four interceptions in week one, which is the most in a game since tallying four against Minnesota Crookston during the 2019 season. BSU is tied with five other teams for the most interceptions in the nation after week one.

It wasn’t just the interceptions, but the defense posted four sacks as well in the season opener. Six times last year Bemidji State tallied at least four sacks in a game. The high was nine against MSU Moorhead on Oct. 15, 2022.

It was a balanced attack offensively for the Beavers against NSU passing for 213 yards and rushing for 212. Dating back to the 2019 season, Bemidji State has now gone 27 straight games throwing for more yards than rushing. Five times during the 2019 season the Beavers had more rushing than passing yards.

Bemidji State ranked in the top-25 nationally last year in passing offense (4th), red zone defense (13th), rushing defense (22nd), sacks allowed (5th), scoring defense (25th), scoring offense (11th), team passing efficiency (10th), team passing efficiency defense (22nd), team sacks (9th) and total offense (10th)