December 11, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) North Dakota State's star quarterback has returned to practice in a week when the Bison are concentrating on a better defensive effort against Northern Iowa.

Senior quarterback and pro prospect Carson Wentz suited up for the first time since breaking his throwing wrist seven weeks ago. His playing status in the FCS quarterfinal at the Fargodome Saturday appears to be a game-day decision.

Bison safety Robbie Grimsley says Wentz's return is an emotional boost, but adds that the defense needs more than attitude to stop UNI's 1-2 punch of quarterback Aaron Bailey and running back Tyvis Smith. They each have gone over 1,000 yards rushing.

The Panthers piled up 277 yards rushing on the Bison in their regular-season matchup, when Smith did not get a carry. NDSU won 31-28.

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