I am often asked my opinion on things that involve football. The questions range from how to find which player position best suits a child to who I think will win the Super Bowl, and pretty much everything in between. I have many thoughts on the game, on coaching, and on improving performance, so I am starting Passing Thoughts to share some of those thoughts. I welcome your comments and conversation. –KR

Saturday, November 10, 2012

College Game to Watch: NDSU vs. SDSU

Area football fans are watching the SD High School championship games this weekend, but if you can take a break from high school to tune into a great area college game, check out SDSU traveling to NDSU on Saturday.
Marcus Williams

Both teams are playing well, and (#16) SDSU is 7-2 while (#1) NDSU is 8-1 on the season. The winner of this game will sit atop the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and SDSU needs to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive.

NDSU's defense is #1 in scoring and fuels their tremendous success. Marcus Williams is arguably one of the best corners in 1-AA football, and many believe he is already NFL ready. He has limited opportunities to make plays because most teams (wisely) throw away from him, but he will take advantage of any chances he is given. NDSU's offense has a very balanced attack, and they will try to run the ball to wear down SDSU's defense and throw quick 3-step drop passes to help avoid turnovers.

Austin Sumner
SDSU ranks #7 in scoring defense, and QB Austin Sumner is very athletic and has the ability to take a game over with big plays. He needs to make the easy throws in this game and keep a balanced offense so that NDSU can't key on SDSU's running game. RB Zach Zenner is the leading rusher in the Football Championship Subdivision with an average 166 yds/game. SDSU's challenge today is to come off the field with points whenever they get in the red zone. That is something NDSU does not allow very often. 

The game is expected to be sold out, and the crowd noise could definitely have an impact on SDSU. NDSU needs to feed off the crowd and play the field position game, and SDSU needs to minimize turnovers and capitalize on opportunities against NDSU's stout defense. Watch to see how NDSU's big offensive line fares against a solid SDSU D-line...that will make a difference in the game. Whichever offense can take care of the ball but also make big plays when given the chance will definitely have the advantage.

 It should be a great college football game. Enjoy!

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