North Dakota State defeated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in a thrilling overtime game at the Fargo Dome.
With the departure of Carson Wentz, NDSU is led by quarterback Easton Stick, a redshirt sophomore. Stick is certainly no stranger to the field though. When Wentz was sidelined with his wrist injury last year, Stick played in 10 games and threw for 13 touchdowns.
It was a slow start to this year's opener with the score tied at just 3 a piece at the half. The No. 6 ranked Charleston Southern Buccaneers missed their first opportunity to get points on the board when kicker Tyler Tekac missed a 38 yard field goal with just under 6 minutes to go in the first quarter.
NDSU missed a field goal of their own when Cam Pederson missed from 43 yards early in the second quarter.
About four minutes later, Charleston Southern scored the first points of the game when Jacob Smoak nailed a 46 yard field goal.
Early in the third quarter, the Buccaneers became the first of either of the two teams to find the end zone when Mike Holloway eluded and broke off of multiple Bison defenders and ran 47 yards to the endzone.
The Bison came right back on the next possession when quarterback Easton Stick capped off a 6 play, 68-yard drive with a 23 yard pass to Darrius Shepherd to tie the game at 10.
The game went to the fourth quarter with the game still tied at 10.
The fourth quarter began with an NDSU fourth down and a punt to Charleston Southern but after a great defensive stand by the Bison, NDSU got the ball right back.
Towards the end of the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers converted a huge 4th down to the Bison 13 yard line to keep the drive alive and two plays later running back Mike Holloway found the end zone to tie the game at 17 with 2:59 to play.
It was up to Stick to lead the Bison down the field to try and score with as little time left on the clock as possible. On 4th and 5 with 27 seconds left, the Bison had the ball at the 36 yard line of the Buccaneers.
Following a timeout, NDSU opted to go for it rather than attempt another field goal of over 50 yards. Stick threw an interception to Charleston Southern's Troy McGowens who returned it to the Bison 40 yard line with 18 seconds left.
The first pass for the Buccaneers was incomplete and there were 13 seconds left on the clock. On the ensuing play, quarterback Kyle Copeland faced pressure and was forced to scramble for 7 yards to the 33 yard line.
Jacob Smoak came out for the 51 yard field goal. It was blocked, but NDSU took a timeout before the snap and so Smoak got another opportunity with four seconds on the clock.
Smoak's 51 yard attempt following that was wide left and the game went to overtime with the game tied at 17.
It was the first overtime game in the history of the Fargo Dome. Charleston Southern won the opening coin toss and opted to play on defense first.
On the very first play of the first overtime, running back King Frazier ran up the middle, bounced off defenders out to the right sideline and ran 25 yards for the touchdown. Cam Pederson added the extra point to give the Bison the 24-17 lead.
The Bison held the Buccaneers on the ensuing possession giving NDSU the win 24-17.
Easton Stick finished the day throwing 17 for 27 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. King Frazier rushed for 79 yards and the game winning score in overtime.
North Dakota State is off next week and will take on Eastern Washington on Sept. 10 at 2:30pm in a game that can be seen on NBC stations across the state.