INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 20, 2013, 10:09 AM

Season has been a struggle for NDSU opponent

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Delaware State just happened to be the opponent for North Dakota State's appearance on ESPN's "College GameDay" pregame show on Saturday and so far this year, that has been about the only stroke of good fortune for the team. It's been a tough month.

By: JEFF KOLPACK, The Forum, Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Delaware State just happened to be the opponent for North Dakota State's appearance on ESPN's "College GameDay" pregame show on Saturday and so far this year, that has been about the only stroke of good fortune for the team. It's been a tough month.

The Hornets are in the midst of perhaps the toughest NCAA Division I FCS lineup in September of anybody. The stretch started with a 42-21 thumping at Delaware and continued last week with a 49-7 loss at fourth-ranked Towson State.

Up next: two-time defending FCS champion and No. 1-ranked NDSU.

"Another tough task ahead of us," Hornets head coach Kermit Blount told The Forum (http://bit.ly/1eYTvHJ). "We're a young football team and we're going to keep the guys heading in the right direction, keep them positive."

The positive this week is getting the school's name mentioned on the popular ESPN show, which will air from 8-11 Saturday morning from downtown Fargo. Blount said the exposure from that is good not only for his football program but the university as well.

It's a school that will not see its football team play at home until it hosts Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 5. The Hornets have only four home games all season.

"It's a beast," Blount said.

He said there are two reasons for all the road games. DSU played seven home games last season and the schedule simply reversed itself this year. And some of the games were set before he arrived at the Dover, Del., school in 2011.

"We're not going to complain about it or put any emphasis on it," Blount said. "The kids understand the challenge in front of us, but it will make us a better team."

The Hornets went 6-5 last season, but repeating a winning season will take some work from here. Bethune-Cookman defeated FBS Florida International 34-13 last week.

DSU has three starting seniors on defense and just two on offense, although one of those is quarterback Cory Murphy. The transfer from Foothill Junior College (Calif.) has thrown for 536 yards in two games.

Blount said he would prefer a more productive running game but said falling behind in both games changed the game plan.

"We went into panic mode to try to get back into it as quick as we could," he said. "Hindsight is 20-20 but we'll try not to make that mistake again."

Tags: