Blog Post

Record Setting Performance Sends Bison Back to Frisco

For the sixth time in seven years Frisco, Texas will become a sea of green and gold on the first week of January. The Bison earned a trip to the FCS championship game for the sixth time in seven years on Friday as they dominated Sam Houston State 55-13.

It was a record setting performance in many ways for the Bison who put up 642 yards of total offense by the end of the day. Much of the talk coming into the game was about Sam Houston State’s offense lead by senior quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe and it should have been the Bearkats were averaging 45 points a game and over 550 yards. But the “code green” defense showed up again holding SHSU to 13 points and 352 yards while forcing four turnovers.

The most impressive thing to Sam Houston State coach KC Keeler was the tackling “we can usually make teams miss we couldn’t make those guys miss”. The Bearkats did get on the board first with a field goal on the opening possession but even when they surrendered points is was almost like a win. “They did a nice drive on the first drive” said NDSU head coach Chris Klieman, “they only got three and I thought that was a real win for us cause we were just learning the speed of the game….. Im a firm believer if you’re kicking field goals you’re not going to beat many people”. After the first drive the defense seemed as unbeatable as they have during this post season run, especially up front at the line of scrimmage where the Bison held the Bearkats to 63 rushing yards.

The Bison offense showed their explosiveness in the semifinal especially from junior running back Bruce Anderson. Anderson ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns, in the first half, and added a reception for 23 yards and a score. By the end of the game Anderson wasn’t even the leading rusher as freshman Seth Wilson got a majority of the carries after halftime and ended up racking up 195 yards on 24 carries. Anderson however got the big plays averaging over 10 yards a carry and finishing with 237 total yards and five touchdowns, which tied a NDSU school record for most touchdowns in a game.

Easton Stick also accounted for five scores today throwing for four touchdown passes, set a playoff record (starting to see a theme here), and running in a score that put NDSU up in the first quarter 7-3. This trip to Frisco will be the third for Stick but it will be the first trip in which he is the starter. In 2015 he started all three playoff games in place of Carson Wentz but Wentz was healthy enough to come back and start the championship. “The guy that deserves to play in a national championship game is Easton” said Klieman “after what he did in 2015 to get his best friend, Carson back to that game he deserves that opportunity”.

The game was never in doubt as the Bison were up 21-3 after the first quarter but the biggest negative in the game was injuries for NDSU. The bison suffered what appears to be major injuries to both starting cornerbacks Jalen Allison and Jaylaan Wimbush and also running back TY Brooks suffered a shoulder injury in the first half. According to Klieman all three may not be able to be available in Frisco “we lost both corners lost Ty Brooks, we’ll find out probably not good on all three”.

Allison’s injury was particularly difficult for the Bison to swallow as it happened after an interception when a player for Sam Houston State cut down Allison near the sideline bending his knee back. Klieman referred to the hit postgame as an “unethical play”. That injury took away from the performance on the field for Klieman who was visibly upset about the play “I’m irritated, the kids a great football and it’s an illegal play”.

Teammate Tre Dempsey was also upset about what happened to his teammate. “It pissed me off...I didn’t even celebrate I just ran over to him”. Dempsey had the interception on the play, which was eventually called back because of a holding penalty, “I love my brothers I hate to see them go down I told him that we got him”.

Outside of the injuries the everything else went pretty smooth for the Bison who cruised to the 42-point win. They put up several playoff records in the contest (you can see them all at the bottom of the story). They will take on either South Dakota State or James Madison in the Frisco going for their 6th championship. Dempsey doesn’t have a preference “last time we played both teams they beat us, so it is what it is”. James Madison beat the Bison 27-17 the end the streak of five straight national championships and SDSU defeated NDSU earlier this season 33-21 for the Bison’s only loss of the season.


*Records broken or tied for NDSU

642 yards of total offense most in playoff history

472 Rushing Yards most in FCS playoff history

4 touchdown passes, Easton Stick, most in playoff history

8 touchdowns ties a single game playoff record

5 total touchdowns, Bruce Anderson, ties school single game record

2 interceptions, Marquise Bridges, ties single game playoff record

8 PATs attempted most pats attempted in playoff history

7 PATs made most ties most PATs made in school history

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