by Dave Miller
August 30, 02014
No Craig Bohl, no problem for North Dakota State.
Despite having to replace its head coach, several assistants and 12 senior starters, the Bison claimed their fifth victory in a row over an FBS opponent with a thorough 34-14 win on Saturday at Iowa State, which had jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the contest.
First-year head coach and former defensive coordinator Chris Klieman, who took over for Bohl when he departed for Wyoming, helped the Bison win their 25th game in a row and keep the party going in Fargo, whose fans have seen the team claim three consecutive FCS championships.
But the story on Saturday was the continued success against FBS foes, with the Cyclones being the newest victim. The Bison beat Kansas in 2010, Minnesota in 2011, Colorado State in 2012 and Kansas State last season. As of now, the Bison don't have an FBS team on the 2015 slate but are scheduled to face Iowa in 2016.
The No. 1 team in the FCS preseason poll entered the new year with Carson Wentz taking over under center for Brock Jensen, who spent a little time with the Miami Dolphins this offseason. Wentz had good poise in his first start and finished 18 of 28 passing for 204 yards with zero interceptions. Meanwhile, John Crockett ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite the changes on the coaching staff and player personnel losses, the Bison looked just as tough, physical and well coached as ever. There's no doubt that this program has come a long way from being a 2-8 team in the D-II North Central Conference, as it was in 2002.
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.