Mikkelsen, Bliek named to ESPN academic squad

Mikkelsen, Bliek named to ESPN academic squad
Lucas Mikkelsen and Nick Bliek of the eighth-ranked South Dakota Football Team (9-2) were named to the 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VII College Division Team, according to an announcement Nov. 10 by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).

Mikkelsen, a junior punter from Gregory, was named to the first-team and will advance to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America ballot. Bliek of Larchwood, IA, was named to the second team. Earlier this month, Bliek, a senior offensive guard for the Coyotes, was a first-team choice on the Academic All-NCC squad.

Mikkelsen and Bliek both played key roles for the Coyotes, who won a share of the North Central Conference championship in 2005. It is the Coyotes' first title since 1978.

A two-year starter, Mikkelsen averaged 35.9 yards per punt with a long of 58 yards. He punted 34 times for 1,219 yards and placed five kicks inside the 20-yard line. Mikkelsen, who owns a 3.597 grade point average in criminal justice, was named Academic All-NCC and honorable mention All-NCC in 2004.

Bliek, who has a 3.453 grade point average in business, has started 30 straight games on the Coyote offense, which as led the nation in total offense. The Coyotes generated 583 yards in total offense per game, while averaging 49.7 points per game (second in the nation).

Bliek has been part of an offensive front that has blocked for USD's all-time career rusher Stefan Logan, who had his third straight 1,000 yard season, a first in school history.

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