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Injury-plagued North Dakota State gets needed bye week

Fargo, ND (Sports Network) - The FCS' No. 1-ranked North Dakota State Bison have an open date this week and the timing couldn't be better.

After an impressive 2-0 start to the season - which includs stingy defensive performances and a win over FBS Colorado State - NDSU must re-group with injuries to some of its key players.

The Dickinson Press reported All-America cornerback Marcus Williams will miss at least two weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to his knee.

Williams played the entire game Saturday in the Bison 22-7 win at Colorado State, collecting four tackles and one interception.

Even more disheartening for the Bison was the news that safety Colten Heagle will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The junior, from Appleton, Wis., who is one of the Bison's leaders in the secondary, suffered the injury in the second half at Colorado State. Bohl said Heagle should be able to apply for a medical hardship, thus not losing this year of eligibility.

North Dakota State also will be without backup running back Derrick Lang, who will miss time due to an unspecified injury to his chest area, and tight end Garrett Bruhn, who is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a knee injury.

The good news for the Bison came from NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor, who said there would not be any suspensions for the off-the-field petition fraud allegations which involved players Aireal Boyd, Josh Colville, Demetrius Gray, Samuel Ojuri, Brendin Pierre, Antonio Rodgers, Bryan Shepherd and Williams.

Taylor said in a Detroit Lakes Tribune article on Monday, "There are not going to be any suspensions. These kids don't deserve a suspension. I'm not going to suspend them and neither is Craig (coach Craig Bohl). As far as we are concerned, it is over."

The Bison return to action Sept. 22, hosting Southwestern Athletic Conference member Prairie View A&M.

09/11 10:15:24 ET

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Breaking The Line
by Samuel G. Freedman
Samuel G. Freedman's "Breaking The Line" vividly recreates the world of black college football in the civil rights era with a gripping chronicle of the 1967 season for coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling State and Alonzo S. "Jake" Gaither at Florida A&M.