The Bison found out Monday that Lance Dunn tore his labrum and will miss the rest of the 2017 season. The junior RB has rushed for more than 2,000 yards in his NDSU career and was the second leading rusher on the team (by a hair) behind Bruce Anderson, who will likely slide right into that starting position. Dunn had rushed for 12 touchdowns though.
Depth is rarely a luxury at an FCS school, but schools like North Dakota State and James Madison — who have combined to win the past six national titles — can weather it a bit more than some programs at the FCS level. Anderson has rushed for more than 600 yards and 4 TDs this year and he is the primary kickoff returner. Hometown product Ty Brooks, a sophomore, and redshirt freshman Adam Cofield will undoubtedly see more time in the backfield also, as they've combined for nearly 400 yards rushing and 4 TDs.
The Bison feature the No. 6 rushing attack in the nation at 278 yards per game. James Madison went through a similar injury situation earlier this year when Cardon Johnson went down to injury for the second-straight season. Though the Dukes have filled the void by committee, they are undefeated and look strong enough to repeat as national champions. North Dakota State has the talent to do the same thing and is also undefeated.
The Bison have a rigorous three-game stretch ahead at South Dakota State, home against South Dakota and then at Illinois State. But they're playing some of the best defense in recent memory, allowing only 10.1 points per game (second in the nation to James Madison's 10.0) and 188.3 yards per game (tops in the nation).