NDSU Advances to Semifinals of FCS Playoffs
The North Dakota State Bison are just one game away from a chance to play for yet, another championship after they beat the Colgate Raiders in the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs.
The Colgate Raiders (10-2) came into Saturday with the number one ranked defense in the FCS. That stat didn't seem to bother the top-seeded Bison (13-0) as they won convincingly over the eighth-seeded Raiders, 35-0.
After Colgate opened up the game with the ball and was forced to punt, the Bison would score in just 4 plays, going 96 yards to do it. Bruce Anderson had a run of 32 yards, followed by a 32-yard throw from Easton Stick to Lance Dunn that set NDSU up at the Colgate 26. Ty Brooks took the next handoff to the end zone to make it 7-0.
But after that, teams would trade punts. NDSU was held to just 51 yards on their next three possessions. The Bison defense would get a huge stop on 4th down at their own 35-yard line before Stick and company would go to work again. A 10 play, 65 yard drive ended with another Bison touchdown, this time Stick threw to a wide-open Ben Ellefson in the end zone from 2 yards out to give the Bison a 14-0 cushion at halftime.
In the third quarter, NDSU would double their lead. They scored on their first two possessions of the half. The first came on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Stick to Darrius Shepherd and the second, when Dunn broke off a 42-yard run to get to the end zone for a 28-0 lead.
Colgate would have their best chance to score on the next possession when they would put a 10-play drive together that had them at the NDSU 29, only to be denied when James Hendricks picked off Colgate quarterback Grant Breneman in the end zone to give the ball back to the Bison.
NDSU would score once more in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard pass from Stick to Phoenix Sproles.
The Bison defense didn't allow much of anything from the Raiders. NDSU held Colgate to just 157 totals yards. Breneman was 9 of 21 for just 68 yards and the interception. NDSU had 21 first downs to only seven from Colgate.
Stick finished 14 of 19 to nine different receivers for 205 yards and 3 touchdowns. Anderson led the Bison in rushing with 124 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
NDSU will host fifth-seeded South Dakota State at the Fargodome next weekend. SDSU defeated Kenesaw State, 27-17 to advance to the semifinal date with the Bison.