Bison have fared well in 11 a.m. starts over the years

FARGO — North Dakota State plays most of its home games at 2:30 p.m. But if history is any indication, the Bison players may want to push for more 11 a.m. starts.
That’s the kickoff time for the Wofford College at Bison FCS quarterfinal game on Saturday.
“Love it, I loved it as a player,” said NDSU assistant coach Tyler Roehl. “You wake up, you have breakfast, you do a walkthrough and you’re ready to go.”
Roehl, as a Bison running back, was ready to go in 2007 when NDSU played at the University of Minnesota. That was an 11 a.m. start, a game where Roehl set the Bison single-game rushing record with 263 yards.
NDSU won that game 27-21.
In fact, the Bison are unbeaten in 11 a.m. kickoffs in the Division I FCS era going 8-0. Three of those were FBS games including the Gophers, Iowa State in 2014 and the University of Iowa last year.
Four were in FCS quarterfinal games: Coastal Carolina in 2013, Coastal again in 2014, Northern Iowa in 2015 and South Dakota State last season. The Bison beat Jacksonville State in an 11 a.m. FCS title game kickoff in Frisco, Texas in 2015.
“I actually like it,” said Bison safety Robbie Grimsley. “I think everyone is ready to go at playoff time and I don’t think the game time matters. Just get up and get after it is nice.”
Other NDSU sports have been sharp in 11 a.m. games including the men’s basketball team, which upset nationally-ranked Wisconsin 62-55 in 2006.
Two from Valley
up for FCS awards
Two players from the Missouri Valley Football Conference were among the finalists for a couple of major FCS awards. South Dakota quarterback Chris Streveler was invited to the announcement for the Walter Payton Award that goes to the best offensive player in the FCS. The others are UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss and Sam Houston State quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe.
Linebacker Brett Taylor from Western Illinois was one of three finalists on the invite list for the Buck Buchanan Award that goes to the best defensive player along with James Madison defensive end Andrew Ankrah and Jacksonville State defensive end Darius Jackson.
The winners will be announced at the awards banquet Jan. 5 in Frisco.
Etc. etc. etc.
® The Missouri Valley is 48-22 in the playoffs, the best record of any conference. The league is 29-15 in the last 44 postseason games with seven of those being intraconference games. That means the Valley is 22-8 against the rest of the FCS.
® It’s an FCS “Power 5” of sorts. From 2010-17, the Missouri Valley, Big Sky Conference, Colonial Athletics Association, Southern Conference and Southland Conference have combined to win 139 of the 165 total games. The Valley has 48 of those wins, or 35 percent.
® When South Dakota reached the postseason field of 24 this year, it meant every past or current Missouri Valley member has now reached the playoffs.
® NDSU added to its FCS record streak of most consecutive years of reaching the quarterfinals, making it for the eighth straight year after the second round defeat of the University of San Diego. The Bison broke the record of six in a row held by Appalachian State (2005-10), Marshall (1991-96) and Georgia Southern twice (1985-90 and 1997-02).
® When Bison linebacker Nick DeLuca accepted his invitation to the Jan. 27 Senior Bowl, he became the seventh player in team history to do so joining quarterback Carson Wentz (2016 game), offensive lineman Joe Haeg (2016), offensive lineman Billy Turner (2014), punter Mike Dragosavich (2008), running back Lamar Gordon (2002) and wide receiver Stacy Robinson (1985).