Top five things to look for in North Dakota State game


Redshirt junior quarterback Sam Richardson passes the ball at the first fall practice on Aug. 4, 2014.

Beau Berkley

1. Offensive line

The offensive line was riddled with injuries in 2014, cycling through nine different lineups in 12 games. With the exception of Ben Loth, who went down with a career-ending knee injury Aug. 4, the offensive line is healthy with returning starters, including captain Tom Farniok at center.

2. Sam Richardson

Richardson is the unquestioned starting quarterback heading into North Dakota State. Add the fact that he’s healthy and Richardson could be poised for a big game. 

3. Front Seven

The defensive line and linebackers will be tested by a potent Bison rushing attack led by senior John Crockett, who is coming off back to back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. If the Cyclones are to win, they’ll need strong performances from their run stoppers. 

4. Depth at receiver

Arguably the position with the most depth on the team, Richardson will have plenty of targets for whom to aim. Quenton Bundrage will get a bulk of Richardson’s tosses, as well as Jarvis West and Dondre Daley — and don’t forget the true freshman Allen Lazard.

5. E.J. Bibbs

Complimenting the receiving corps will be All-Big 12 selection E.J. Bibbs. Bibbs had 39 catches for 462 yards and two touchdowns. At 6-feet-3-inches tall, Bibbs figures to be a problem in the middle for the Bison secondary.