FARGO — North Dakota State is going green on Saturday and it has nothing to do with the environment.
For most likely the first time in program history, the Bison football team will wear green pants, green jerseys and its green harvest helmet when Missouri State comes to Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. The Missouri Valley Football Conference game carries a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.
The school announced it on its football Twitter account, with head coach Matt Entz giving credit to former NDSU defensive coordinators Jimmy Burrow, Gus Bradley, Scottie Hazelton and Chris Klieman. The nickname for the NDSU defense is "Code Green." Burrow retired as the defensive coordinator at Ohio University after last season, Bradley is the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers and Klieman is the head coach and Hazelton the defensive coordinator at Kansas State.
"To honor all former and current 'Code Green' members, our team will be wearing all green," Entz said on the tweet.
The evolution of the green uniform began over a decade ago when NDSU went with green pants for the first time on the road, instead of a traditional white jersey with yellow pants. The green harvest helmet was added in 2015 when a group of NDSU boosters raised the funds to buy them.
Switching the look doesn't happen often with the program. NDSU added an "alternate" yellow jersey in 2011 season opener that has been a staple for big regular season games and FCS playoffs. The Bison are 30-0 while wearing those tops, 14-0 wearing the green helmets and 11-0 wearing the all-alternate look of yellow jersey and green helmet.
Once again, the emphasis on its "Code Green" moniker is working for the Bison defense. NDSU is third in the FCS statistics in total defense giving up just 275.0 yards per game and third in scoring defense at 12.0 points per game. Its seven touchdowns allowed are the fewest in the FCS through six games this season.