By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The MSU-Northern Lights are in search of their first win as full members of the Frontier Conference against non-conference Minot (N.D.) State Saturday.
Were going to do some different sorts of things offensively to keep them off-guard, head coach Walt Currie said.
The Lights, 0-3, are coming off a 69-0 loss to Frontier Conference foe Carroll College last Thursday.
Minot State, who has one loss on the season, is an established program in North Dakota who often sports good college athletics.
I look for them to be pretty tough, Currie said.
Offensively, the Lights will be doing some different things with quarterback Chris Jackson, running backs Travis Hille and Travis Crawford, wide receivers Andy Smith and T Artis and tight end Dan Yaeger.
Were going to try do a little more to keep them a little off-guard defensively, Currie said. Weve got to be able to run the ball.
With an offensive line that has only two returning starters from last years exhibition team, youth has plagued the Lights on the line.
Jackson had eight carries for 38 yards to lead the Lights against Carroll College. As a team, the Lights had 22 carries for 63 total yards.
Crawford is ranked No. 4 at all-purpose yards in the Frontier Conference. Behind 18 rushes, 90 receptions he averages 157.5 all-purpose yards per game.
The passing game at Helena saw Jackson throw 10-of-18 completions for 134 yards. John Parrish also saw some action, going 1-for-3 for five yards. Jackson is the fourth-ranked quarterback in the Frontier Conference with 650 total yards on the year.
In his third 100-plus game in three games, Andy Smith led all receivers with seven receptions for 103 yards against Carroll. He also had a 36-yard completion in the third quarter. Smith leads all Frontier Conference players with 34 receptions for 434 yards.
Currie said the kick return must be improved but, on the other hand, the kicking team has improved.
Mark Lane, a national champion wrestler, has found a niche in the deep kick-off game for the Lights.
After the loss to Carroll College, Currie said the Lights must regroup and prepare for Saturday.
Coaches take the responsibility for the losses, players take the responsibility for the wins, Currie said. We need to do a better job of coaching that.
Kick-off is slated for 1 p.m. at Blue Pony Stadium.