Blog Post

Bison Cruise to Quarterfinals for Eighth Straight Year

The NDSU Bison were in action in the second round of the FCS playoffs Saturday afternoon against the San Diego Toreros. The Bison used a dominant ground game and stifling defense to win 38-3.

This meeting was a rematch of last year’s semifinal where NDSU won 45-7. The rematch had a similar feel early as the Bison jumped out to an early 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Junior quarterback Easton Stick threw for a touchdown and ran for a score in the first. Stick first found running back Seth Wilson over the middle for a 19-yard strike to cap off a 7 play 82-yard drive that started the scoring. Then Stick used his legs taking off to the right and breaking multiple tackles over 51 yards in for the score.

NDSU would add a field goal, off the leg of Cam Pedersen, from 47 yards out to start the second frame and put little doubt early in the contest that they were primed for a trip to the quarterfinals for an eighth straight year.

At the half NDSU lead 17-0 and their defense was clearly the story shutting out the second highest scoring offense in the country while holding them to four first downs, 27 rushing yards and only 67 yards passing. It was the fourth time this season that NDSU has held an opponent scoreless.

The second half was more of the same as the Bison would go on to score on their first three possessions. The running game got it going again to start the second half scoring as Fargo native Ty Brooks ran for a 23-yard. It was Brooks first score since November 11th when he crossed the goaline three times against South Dakota. NDSU took the lead into the thirties when Stick found Bruce Anderson on a screen pass on 3rd down and Anderson alluded defenders for a 48-yard touchdown reception. That reception was the longest of Anderson’s career and only his 4th catch of the season.

Stick would finish out the scoring when he found his favorite target RJ Urzendowski for a 13-yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone. Urzendowski was even interfered with by the San Diego cornerback but he managed to break his left hand free and make the one-handed grab.

The Bison defense continued their dominance in the second half not allowing the Toreros on to the scoreboard until one minute into the fourth quarter when the Toreros got a 48-yard field goal from their kicker Patrick Murray.

NDSU would bring in the backups from that point and went on to win handily 38-3 and advance to the quarterfinals. With the win NDSU moves to 11-1 on the season and San Diego ends their season with a mark of 10-3.

NDSU takes on Wofford in the next round after the Terriers beat Furman 28-10 in their second-round matchup.

GAME TIDBITS

·         The Toreros came into the contest boasting the nations best conversion percentage on third down converting on 51% (82-159) of their third-down attempts. NDSU forced the Toreros into multiple third-and-long situations and held USD to 1-of-14 on third downs

·         USD ran the ball 29 times and they lost 31 yards on those attempts while only gaining 62

·         The three passing touchdowns from Stick tied a post season record for most passing touchdowns in a game. The last time that happened was last year in the second-round against San Diego

·         NDSU more than quadrupled the Toreros on the ground rushing for 301 yards and holding USD to 62

·         A lone bright spot for USD was their defensive end Johnathan Petersen who picked up three sacks and set the all-time FCS record for sacks in a career with 44

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