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BISON FOOTBALL: NDSU takes on Indiana State today

FARGO -- Tyler Gimmestad signed his letter of intent with North Dakota State in 2009 as a defensive lineman from Marshall, Minn. He spent his redshirt season practicing against veteran Bison offensive linemen who didn't exactly take it easy on him.

FARGO -- Tyler Gimmestad signed his letter of intent with North Dakota State in 2009 as a defensive lineman from Marshall, Minn. He spent his redshirt season practicing against veteran Bison offensive linemen who didn't exactly take it easy on him.

"A lot of big dudes, and I was smashing with them every day," he said. "It definitely got me a lot tougher."

A few months later, he was one of those big dudes. The Bison coaches switched him to offense, and that's where he's found a home with the No. 1-ranked team in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The Bison play at No. 16 Indiana State today.

Gimmestad was told of the position switch last February.

"It was all of a sudden," he said. "I had no idea it was going to happen. I didn't know what to think but after a couple of hours of thinking about it, I got excited. I always liked playing offense in high school."

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He earned the starting right guard position in spring football and has held it the first eight games of the season. Naturally, picking up the schemes and plays of the offense didn't come easy.

"I had no idea what was going on, but the O-linemen who were there helped me and made it a lot easier," Gimmestad said. "This year, to have more of an impact on the team just feels good and hopefully we can just keep rolling."

Emanuel sidelined

NDSU will be without starting defensive end Kyle Emanuel today because of a procedure to address a meniscus issue in his knee. Bison coach Craig Bohl said the hope is Emanuel will return next week.

"It depends on the swelling," Bohl said.

Former defensive tackle Matt Gratzek had the same knee problem last year that caused him to miss two weeks. Meanwhile, either sophomore Cole Jirik or senior Scott Stoczynski will start at a position where NDSU is pretty deep.

Emanuel has made a big impact as a freshman with 23 tackles, two quarterback sacks and returning a fumble three yards for a touchdown last week against Northern Iowa.

Bison backers pack the buses

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A popular part of NDSU's game at the University of Minnesota in September was guessing how many Bison fans were in attendance at TCF Bank Stadium. The NDSU Alumni Association may have gotten a pretty good clue this week.

It received an official transport count of people riding buses from the NDSU tailgate area at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to the stadium. Ben Schnabel, the assistant director for parking and transportation services, said it was 13,743 people.

Attendance at the game was 48,802, with most estimates of Bison fans on hand at around 20,000.

Etc. etc. etc.

- NDSU took over the top spot in the Gridiron Power Index, which says it is a leading indicator for FCS at-large playoff selections. The Southern Conference and Colonial Athletic Association continue to lead with the most teams in the top 25 with six each while the Missouri Valley has five.

The Valley, however, is second in the conference GPI and continues to move closer to the Southern.

- The Sycamores are facing a top-ranked FCS team for the first time since 2007 when they played at Northern Iowa. They're hosting a No. 1 team for the first time since 1994 when Youngstown State came to Memorial Stadium.

- Indiana State has been nationally ranked for six straight weeks -- a school record.

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This article is by The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The Forum and the Herald are both Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

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