Deeper look into SCSU/MSU-Moorhead

The sack number could be better, but St. Cloud State junior defensive end Jeff Bias is satisfied with the season he’s had.

Bias has 3.5 sacks this season, but that’s lower than the number he wanted going into the year.

“I wanted a lot of them,” said Bias, who has 44 tackles this season, including a team-high 11 for a loss. “Sacks are what every defensive end goes after. I’m trying to get to the career school record by the time I’m done. That’s one of my goals. Just being in on plays is the biggest thing. I want to be around, or in, every play.

“I didn’t get the sacks I wanted this year, but making big plays when they are needed is what I’ve been capable of. I think that’s a plus.”

Bias and the Huskies finish up the season with a 1 p.m. game today at Minnesota State-Moorhead. Bias had a big game last Saturday at Minot State when he had a sack, four tackles for a loss and eight tackles in all. All of his sacks have come in the past five games.

“I feel like my play has improved throughout the year,” Bias said. “I made the move from the inside (defensive tackle) to the outside this year and it took a while to get used to. I think I’m excelling now. I’m glad with what I’ve accomplished this year, but I still have a lot to achieve.”

Bias wants to work on his agility during the offseason. He feels he needs to get faster to keep up with quarterbacks and running backs in the NSIC.

“I have a long ways to go with my agility. I need to focus on that and my footwork to be able to chase down some of these quarterbacks,” he said. “I have to get better. I’m still planning on getting a little bigger. I think I have the utmost potential to get better every season until I’m done.”

Bias’ play hasn’t gone unnoticed by St. Cloud State head coach Scott Underwood.

“He’s played really fast-paced football here this past month,” Underwood said. “He continues to get better and he’s very skilled. He has two years left and a lot of good football ahead of him. I think he’s gotten better throughout the year. He’s a great kid and works really hard at this.”

Notes

* Underwood said defensive end Chris Hansen (knee) won’t play today. Hansen has missed the past two games with the injury he suffered at practice before the Northern State game on Oct. 20.

* St. Cloud State junior linebacker Todd Bestgen will return this week after missing the Minot game with a concussion. Bestgen returned to the practice field Tuesday.

* Underwood on Minnesota State-Moorhead’s struggles this season with a 1-9 record: “They got started late in recruiting because their head coach (Steve Laqua) was hired late. They have good kids at the skill positions. But they have a lot of young offensive and defensive linemen. They’re playing a lot of young kids. It’s hard to establish anything when you’re doing that.”

* Underwood said the Huskies will focus on bringing in transfers during recruiting to bolster the offensive line and linebacking corps next season.

“Those are our immediate needs,” he said. “We’ll need some help immediately because of graduation and our lack of experience.”

* St. Cloud State redshirt freshman running back Ledell White ran for a career-high 160 yards and two TDs last week. White did that damage on six carries. He had TD runs of 70 and 72 yards.

* St. Cloud State junior running back Michael Walker had his fifth 100-yard game of the season against Minot and the sixth of his career. He has 140 carries for 669 yards and 11 TDs this year.

* St. Cloud State junior quarterback Phillip Klaphake upped his career totals to 7,492 passing yards and 61 touchdown passes last week. Klaphake’s second on both all-time lists at SCSU behind Keith Heckendorf. He has 1,669 career rushing yards. Klaphake was named a Harlon Hill candidate on Friday.

Andy Rennecke

About Andy Rennecke

A sports writer for the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times newspaper who covers St. Cloud State athletics with a focus on football, women's basketball and men's basketball. I also cover the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. Follow Andy Rennecke at https://twitter.com/AndyRennecke
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