There's still plenty to play for.
The Minot State University football team is battling injuries and coming off a humiliating 47-point home loss to St. Cloud State.
But pride and the direction of the program is at stake in today's season finale at Bemidji State (6-4).
Minot State University junior Glyn Borel runs around a Minnesota, Crookston defender as freshman receiver Matt Sumlin (6) looks to block during an Oct. 20 game at Herb Parker Stadium. The Beavers play today at Bemidji State (Minn.) in their season finale.
"The program is bigger than all of us," Beavers coach Paul Rudolph said. "Whenever you play, you're out there playing for not just you, (but) the coaches, your family, the program. The program will continue to exist long after we're not around. Quite frankly we stunk last week and we've got a lot of things we've gotta get better if we're gonna get this program moving where we want it to be."
Bemidji, which also uses the Beaver mascot, provides MSU with another challenge. The teams have played as nonconference opponents the last 13 seasons, with BSU owning a 12-1 series lead.
This season, BSU is tied atop the Northern Sun North Division standings at 5-1. Bemidji also won at St. Cloud State by 17 points.
Bemidji State senior quarterback Lance Rongstad throws for 210 yards per game and runs for 56, a total that would be higher if not for 172 yards given back on sacks and negative rushing plays.
"We always gotta have eyes in the backfield," MSU freshman cornerback Cooper Helm said. "This week in scout, we're running a lot of quarterback running plays to work on that. We'll just run the plays and trust our assignments."
Rudolph said the rest of his team's game plan won't matter if it can't keep Rongstad - also a double-figure scorer on the basketball team - from extending plays.
"If we can keep him in the pocket and not let him out running around, then we got a chance," Rudolph said. "If he gets out, he's gonna make some plays. ... He's a good athlete. There's a reason he starts at quarterback and starts on their basketball team."
Senior safety John Denne became MSU's latest victim of an injury against St. Cloud. Linemen Cameron Stone and Josh Zimmer were already missing from the defensive-line rotation and members of MSU's o-line are playing banged up.
"We can't really go to the waiver wire, so we can't really shore it up," Rudolph said. "We're down to the nitty-gritty, man. We've got about 40 players (that are) gonna make the trip."
Those taking the bus ride to Minnesota are focused on ending the season positively and distancing themselves from last weekend's blowout.
"We definitely know we can't come out flat again like we did against St. Cloud," Helm said. "They're a good team, they're at home, they're fighting to tie for first place in (the North) so they're not coming out soft."
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.