The road to Frisco will stay in Fargo again this year. After some first half troubles, the No. 1 ranked NDSU football team surged for 24 unanswered points in the second half against No. 11 Illinois State in a 38-20 win to close out the regular season.
Bison Defeat Rival SDSU to Win Dakota Marker and Share of Conference Title
Saturday’s game at the Fargodome had all the drama one would want in a football game. With the Dakota Marker, a guaranteed share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title and huge playoff implications all on the line, a crowd of 18,721 watched the number one-ranked Bison outlast bitter rival and number 16 South Dakota State in a 20-17 win.
Going into the football game Saturday against the Missouri State Bears, the NDSU Bison football team was coming off a big win against Southern Illinois at home. They took this momentum on the road to and won another hard fought game, 21-17. Both offenses started off stale.
Bison score 13 unanswered points in 4th quarter comeback
The Missouri Valley Football Conference was at its finest Saturday afternoon at the Fargodome. The No. 3 NDSU Bison duked it out with the Southern Illinois Salukis for a physical and thrilling 23-17 win. In a tight knot game that didn’t see a lead bigger than 7 points, NDSU put on a 13-point fourth quarter comeback to take their final and only lead of the game.
The NDSU football team introduced the USD Coyotes to the Missouri Valley Football Conference the same way four security guards introduced the first-quarter caped streaker at Howard Wood Field, unwelcoming, rough and to the ground. The Bison scored their first of many touchdowns the play after the streaker was tackled outside the field en route to a 54-0 whopping of the Coyotes.
Quarterback Brock Jensen came into Saturday’s game against Indiana State with zero season interceptions on his stat sheet. The Sycamores put an end to that goose egg, picking off Jensen three times, two by Johnny Towalid that went for touchdowns, on their way to upsetting the No.
Going into the game against Youngstown State, a lot of pressure was put on the No. 1 ranked NDSU football program. NDSU’s starting junior running back Sam Ojuri was serving a one game suspension, forcing sophomore John Crocket into the starting role.
The NDSU Bison football team proved why they are the No.1 ranked team in the nation. Entering a rowdy UNI-Dome of the No. 14 Panthers, the Bison left the fans eerily quiet after erupting for 20 second half points in a wild and intense 33-21 win Saturday.
“It was a really big win for our program,” head coach Craig Bohl said. “We’ve had a real hard time winning in Cedar Falls. UNI has a great program and for us to come in and win like this, we’re certainly pleased with it.”
Brock Jensen climbed to second overall on the NDSU career completions list after he went 22-31 for a career-high 243 yards and Marcus Williams tied himself up at second overall in career interceptions after his crucial pick in the third quarter.
Williams and the Bison defense caused headaches all night in their Missouri Valley Conference opener, forcing three costly turnovers that all resulted in NDSU points.
The defense did the job of setting the tone early, forcing a three-and-out on UNI’s first possession and putting the ball into Jensen’s hands right away.
Jensen began NDSU’s opening drive by completing four straight passes, three going to Trevor Gebhart, to UNI’s 23-yard line. The drive stalled after a third-and-12 pass to Zach Vraa fell incomplete and Adam Keller came in to knock in a 30-yard field goal to give the Bison a quick 3-0 lead. UNI moved the ball effectively on the next drive but their drive stalled after the Bison stuffed a third-and-short run play. The Panthers sent in their field goal unit but failed to tie the score after the 43-yard kick sailed right. NDSU took over on downs and once again marched down to the redzone behind the arm of Jensen and runs by John Crockett, who finished the game with 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns. On the first play of the second quarter, Jensen took a shot from 16-yards out to Ryan Smith at the back of the endzone. Smith caught the ball and the refs raised his hands to signal a touchdown but another ref overruled the call to the delight of the home fans. NDSU was forced to kick another field goal and this time, UNI got their hands on the kick for a block and the UNI-Dome was rocking.
The Panthers offense fed off the energy and put together their own drive to Bison territory. On a third-and 11 pass at the 22-yard line, a UNI receiver caught a pass in the endzone before a huge hit forced the ball out of his hands. A personal foul was called as the dome roared their disapproval of the hit. UNI took another shot at the endzone two plays later and this time, a pass interference call was made against NDSU. David Johnson plunged into the endzone one play later to put the Panthers up 7-3 with 8:09 remaining in the second quarter.
With the dome noise rising, the Bison failed to create anything offensively on their next drive and were forced to punt. That is when UNI made the first big mistake of the game. The Panther’s returner juggled the ball as he was getting tackled and the ball found its way into the hands of Christian Dudzik and the Bison had the ball right back inside the 10-yard line.
Crockett found the endzone two plays later and NDSU regained their lead with 3:37 remaining in the half. UNI gave the ball up again on the ensuing drive. This time, a Travis Beck sack on third-and-9 forced a fumble that was recovered by the Bison at the UNI 39-yard line. NDSU capitalized again on the turnover, this time with a 28-yard field goal by Keller and just like that, the Bison held a 13-7 lead and the momentum at the half.
“Any time you play on the road and you play a good football team, you need to be disruptive on defense,” Bohl said. “And we’ve done a good job of taking care of the football… turnover margin is real important so we’re pleased with that outcome.”
The momentum carried over to the second half as Crockett sprung a 43-yard run into UNI territory on the first play from scrimmage. Jensen’s pass to Kevin Vaadeland, runs by Sam Ojuri and Crockett, and a pass to Andrew Bonnet moved the ball to the 6-yard line. Crockett got another carry and the elusive back broke a tackle on his way into the endzone. Keller’s kick was good and NDSU held a 20-7 lead three minutes into the second half.
“I thought (Crockett’s run) was huge,” said Bohl. “The most important series of the game I believe is always the first series of the second half. So for us to come up and get a big run one way… and then come up with a touchdown, I thought that really sent a message.”
But the Panthers wouldn’t go away. With the home crowd making some noise again, UNI engineered a drive that ended with a tremendous pass-and-catch for a 27-yard touchdown strike.
Up 20-14, NDSU drove the ball past midfield on their next drive with a couple clutch third down passes from Jensen to Ryan Smith. UNI finally broke up a pass on third down and Keller once again stepped up for the Bison. Keller nailed a 44-yard field goal to extend NDSU’s lead to 23-14 with under a minute remaining in the third quarter.
That was when the all-American Marcus Williams made his presence felt. On UNI’s first play in their next drive, Williams jumped a pass and returned it to the UNI 45-yard line. A short while later, Jensen hit Vaadeland in the corner of the endzone from 9-yards out.
Down 30-14 and with the crowd noise nonexistent, UNI went into pass mode. But another Beck sack on fourth down stalled their drive and the Bison took over on downs with 8:49 remaining in the game.
Runs by Crockett and Ojuri continually moved the chains and chewed away valuable time. The Bison finally hit a 28-yard field goal by Keller with 1:40 remaining. By that time, many UNI fans were filing out of the dome.
But, UNI did score on a 20-yard strike with 0:24 and tried to make it interesting with an onside kick. The Bison recovered the kick after a scramble for the ball. Jensen ran out the clock with a knee and NDSU improved to an impressive 4-0.
The Bison will have another big test next week for homecoming as No. 3 ranked Youngstown comes to the Fargodome. NDSU’s last loss was last year against the Penguins. Kickoff is set for 1:04 p.m.
I may have picked the wrong game to do a column like this but oh well. NDSU’s 66-7 win over Prairie View A&M was easier than the red Staples button. Picking the three most impressive performances by a player is tough to do in such a dominating performance.
Prairie View A&M’s long trip from Texas to Fargo will seem even longer on the way back after getting thumped 66-7 by the Bison football team Saturday. The Panthers couldn’t produce anything against NDSU’s defense and the Bison offense methodically moved the ball series after series.
Rivalries don’t necessarily have to be based off of geographic variables. Ask any Bison fan and they will list-off the names of the universities that NDSU has the biggest beef with. Schools like the University of North Dakota, South Dakota State, Minnesota, and older fans would even include Concordia into that bunch.
Prescription stimulant use on the rise in college students
Long before Emily* (who wishes to remain anonymous for confidentiality reasons) was diagnosed last spring with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the senior public relations and advertising major said she knew she had problems with concentration.
The passing of the Affordable Care Act has presented many changes on the national level. The Obama administration has set mandates for health care standards according to the new act. On the state level, NDSU was required to make changes to its health insurance policy for international students.
NDSU student government allocates $75,000 to Spring Blast concert
NDSU student government, by a 29-1 vote, has decided approve a bill for a reserve request to provide $75,000 of reserve student funds to Spring Blast for the upcoming year. The Spring Blast planning committee is looking to make expansions to the event from last year.
North Dakota is running better than the other 49 states, according to a survey released Nov. 25. For the second straight year, the financial news corporation 24/7 Wall St. has deemed North Dakota the best-run state in America. The nationwide survey took into account hundreds of statistics, including financial health, standard of living and government services in order to determine the wellbeing of a state.
New plan discriminates against international students
In early October, international students received an email from the Office of International Programs saying that health insurance provider Blue Cross Blue Shield will stop its plan with students by the end of this year. The email also indicated that a state-level committee was researching for a new health care insurance provider for international students enrolled at all North Dakota University System schools.
With the recently fallen snow sticking around and temperatures dropping below zero, it is clear that winter is officially upon us. Not only does this cold and dreary season bring snow and freezing temperatures, but it also causes more people to experience depression.
NDSU sophomore John Narum has amazed spectators, appeared on TV, won international events and inspired countless crowds, all with a small piece of plastic and metal. Thanks to Bill Cosby’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” the yo-yo has been a focal point of Narum’s life ever since age four.
‘Tis the season! The season of singing carols, baking goodies and building snowmen (or to be more inclusive, “snow-people”) is upon us. However, the merriment does not just stop there. There are parties to attend, ugly sweaters to adorn and of course fruit cakes (yuck!) to be eaten.