At the end of his weekly news conference before Wednesday’s practice, Ravens special teams coordinator and associate head coach Jerry Rosburg noticed a media member wearing a sweatshirt commemorating the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision title game between Towson and North Dakota State on Jan. 4, 2014.

North Dakota State is back in the FCS final against 2016 national champion James Madison, and Rosburg, a former All-America linebacker for the Bison, jumped at the opportunity to talk about his alma mater.


“I did notice that in the audience that there was a logo that I’m quite familiar with,” he began. “The 2014 national championship game, North Dakota State and I can’t see what the other one is over there. But they’ll be playing on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas, for those of you that are in that neighborhood.”

Rosburg is not the only member of the Ravens interested in how the Bison fare in a couple weeks. Running back John Crockett rushed for 86 yards and scored one touchdown in North Dakota State’s 35-7 rout of a Towson squad that featured current Ravens running back Terrance West. Despite his duties as a member of the practice squad, Crockett said he has kept tabs on his former teammates.

Scouting report for Saturday's Ravens-Colts matchup at M&T Bank Stadium

With a win over the struggling and banged-up Colts, the Ravens would take a significant step toward the postseason.

“I’ve been checking in from time to time with the guys and stuff like that,” he said. “I’m staying busy, but I’ve always got to see what those boys are doing. They kick butt every weekend.”

The Bison’s run of five consecutive NCAA titles ended in last year’s semifinals at the hands of James Madison. Making amends for that loss would delight Crockett.

“I think it’s interesting to have two teams that are obviously the two best teams in the nation right now,” he said. “I think it’s kind of sweet, especially for us because we get a chance for a little revenge, and it would be a little sweeter because of the prize at the end. At the end of the day, they’re the defending champs, and we’ve got to go out there and be who we are.”

If the Ravens advance to the AFC playoffs, they would be either preparing or playing on Jan. 6, meaning Crockett would not able to attend the FCS title game. And that would be fine with him.

“Hopefully, I miss that game,” he said with a laugh. “I want to go, but I’d rather be in the playoffs.”

End zone: Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino was the linebackers coach for Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees from 2012 to 2015, and head coach Chuck Pagano is familiar with several Ravens players and defensive alignments from his time as the defensive coordinator in 2011. But Pees said their presence on the opposing sideline will not influence him to alter how his defense plays. “We are who we are [and] they know who we are,” Pees said Wednesday. “… There might be some things a little on the side that you know that they know that you might try to stay away from. But overall, you’re not going to go 14 games into the season and then all of a sudden have a wholesale change somewhere because you think somebody knows you.” … Pagano said the Indianapolis players are not motivated by an opportunity to derail the Ravens’ hopes of earning a spot in the AFC playoffs. “I’d love to be able to find a way to get a win – not so much to knock somebody out and be a spoiler – just to see the fruits of your labor come to fruition,” he said. “The reason we sacrifice and do what we do is for those five minutes. It’s those five minutes in the locker room when you come off the field victorious and you have that moment to share. It’s so hard to win eight games, let alone a bunch of games in this league and make the playoffs. I just want to see these guys smile.”

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