North Dakota State practicing, pursuing nonconference games

NCAA Football

(Stats Perform) – North Dakota State, the three-time defending FCS champion, continues to practice despite the uncertainty of playing games this fall.

The Bison opened preseason camp on Friday, held a second practice on Sunday and has the next one scheduled for Monday.

The FCS’ top program left open the possibility of playing up to three nonconference games this fall after Missouri Valley Football Conference presidents allowed that opportunity to members schools when the league season was suspended this past Friday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All three of the Bison’s original out-of-conference games were canceled by the opponents – Oregon, Drake and North Carolina A&T.

The MVFC seeks to play its eight-game conference schedule in the spring semester with the expectation that it would lead to FCS playoffs, where the Bison have won eight of the last nine national titles.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Trey Lance, the 2019 Stats Perform Walter Payton Award recipient as the FCS offensive player of the year, has been voicing his support of fall competition on social media.

On Sunday, the FCS’ most visible player included photos of himself with teammates when he wrote on Twitter: “Just want a chance to go to war with my brothers this fall. We’re ready,”

Lance followed up Monday with the tweet: “We’ve put in too much work to not get an opportunity. #WeWantToPlay”.

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