Hello all and welcome to famed North Dakota State blog Bring on the Bison(cats). It’s so nice to have you all here today, we can be a rowdy bunch but we sure do love the Bison, dontcha know. You’re probably here today because our beloved head coach, Chris Klieman, has decided to head south and take over that Kansas State team that we beat back in aught-13. Those people were super nice, but oh geez wouldn’t it be nicer if they just left us our coach? Oh, fer sure he’ll have success down there, but we’d sure like it if he could have just stayed up here in the north.
Okay, now that we got the “North Dakota” out of the way for all you newbies, lets talk about football and tonight’s match-up between the Bison and those pesky Jackrabbits from South Dakota.
Earlier this season, the Bison and Jackrabbits met in a game that was a little closer than Bison fans would have liked. ND State escaped with a 21-17 victory, but needed a fourth-quarter score to clinch the victory. The Jacks defense was able to keep contain on the Bison offense, and limited MVFC Offensive Player of the Year QB Easton Stick to just 185 yards through the air and 78 yards on the ground, but he got yards when needed most, and capped his day with a 5-yard scamper for the go-ahead score.
Stick was relatively quiet in the Bison’s first playoff game, a 52-10 romp over #23 Montana State, but the Bison rode senior RB Lance Dunn to 127 yards and four touchdowns in just the first half. Stick returned more to form in the quarterfinals, throwing for 205 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-0 shutout against #7 Colgate.
The Jacks’ attack is currently being led by MVFC Freshman of the Year RB Pierre Strong Jr. who finished the regular season with a string of three consecutive 100-yard-plus games, including a 253-yard outburst in the regular-season finale against South Dakota. He’s totaled 210 yards through the first two games of the playoffs, and was key in the Jacks 27-17 victory over the #4 Kennesaw State Owls to advance to the semifinals.
Tonight’s NCAA D1 Semifinal game kicks off at 7:00pm CST from the Fargodome in beautiful Fargo, ND. The game will air on ESPN2 with Taylor Zarzour (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (analyst), and Kris Budden (reporter) on the call. You should also be able to stream the game at WatchESPN.com or on the ESPN app.
If you can’t get to a TV, or you don’t get ESPN2, the game can be heard on the Peterson Farms Seed Bison Radio Network with third-year NDSU play-by-play voice Jeff Culhane joined by NDSU and Buffalo Bills hall of famer Phil Hansen and NDSU sideline reporter Jeremy Jorgenson; coverage beings at 6:30pm. NDSU All Access offers free audio streaming on GoBison.com/allaccess and the NDSU Athletics mobile app. Live stats are available on NCAA.com. Follow @NDSUfootball on Twitter for game updates.