Saturday, January 9, 2016

North Dakota State University (NDSU) Bison Win Fifth Consecutive FCS National Championship

My Comments:
Congratulations Bison! An unprecedented five consecutive national championships.  May I be the first to wish you luck on getting a six-pack (pun intended) next year.

The school promotes the Power of the Herd and they are right on.  This string of victories is so much more than a football team.  The team is great. The staff is great.  The fans are great. But...this is so much bigger.

This phenomenon is the result of an amazing Fargo North Dakota community, Generations of hard-working, generous, tightly-bound, community-focused, clean, productive Americans from all backgrounds have created an atmosphere, a community, a University and a football team capable of magic.

The football team that reflects a heritage and culture where all things are possible through team work, hard work, and determination. A community that farms, drills, fights -30 below weather, battles the Red River, stands against hurricane-force winds and hail can certainly produce champions like Roger Maris, Richard Edlund, James Buchli, Paul Gaustad, and one amazing football team.

Go Bison!!!


Saturday, January 09, 2016 10:43 a.m. CST by Dan Gunderson

Bison fans celebrate a fifth straight FCS national title for the North Dakota State University football team. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Gellner)

NDSU celebrates scoring a touchdown against JSU in the first half of the FCS National Championship game. (Photo courtesy of Dan Cash)

Frisco, TX - North Dakota State was dominant on their way to a fifth straight national title with a 37-10 win over Jacksonville State University.

NDSU started the national championship game against JSU on offense. They wasted no time moving the ball up the field with their ground game.

Carson Wentz, starting his first game since October 17, went two for three on third down throws with both completions going for first downs.

However, his third pass fell incomplete and true freshman Cam Pedersen came on to knock in a 29-yard field goal. That gave NDSU the initial lead at 3-0.

The Bison defense got their first test against the JSU offense and stood tall. On a third and five, JSU's Eli Jenkins found Dalton Screws for a four yard gain. Screws was not allowed to move any further because of great tackling by Bison corner Jalen Allison.

That forced a punt for the Gamecocks. They had a chance to down the ball inside the five but Troymaine Pope was unable to down the ball as it bounced into the endzone for a touchback.

That would end up being JSU's only possession of the quarter as NDSU was able to run out the clock in the first quarter while driving.

It would only get better for NDSU in the second quarter. The drive continued to move even after JSU forced the Bison into a fourth down. NDSU went for it and converted when Wentz found Zach Vraa.

The Bison continued to move the ball and on a first and goal from the eight yard line, Wentz found Andrew Bonnet in the end zone for the touchdown. Pedersen would convert on the extra point and the Bison had a 10-0 lead.

The NDSU defense would respond on the first offensive play of the second quarter for the Gamecocks. Nick DeLuca would pick off a Jenkins pass by leaving his feet and going parallel to the ground.

The offense would not waste the effort. Wentz would show his running ability when he took a read option and ran 11 yards for a touchdown. Wentz finished off the run with a great dive for the pylon.

The point after went through and NDSU had already grabbed a 17-0 lead just under four minutes to go in the first half.

Things did not get any better for Jacksonville State on their third possession. After converting on a fourth and short, Jenkins would fumble an exchange in the backfield and NDSU would recover.

It was the second straight turnover for JSU and, again, NDSU wouldn't waste it.

The Bison drove 48 yards on six plays and saw King Frazier run it in from a yard out for the score. Pedersen's extra point was good and the Bison grabbed a 24-0 leads.

The Bison would shut the Gamecocks out for the rest of the half as they maintained a 24-0 lead going into the half.

JSU started the second half with the ball looking to at least get on the board. Jenkins legs would make that happen. Jenkins had a 46 yard rush and ended the drive with a six yard touchdown run. Kicker Connor Rouleau would tack on the extra point and JSU trailed 24-7.

It was the type of response that the Gamecocks were in desperate need of to begin the second half.

The Bison had a strong drive going following the touchdown but on play 11 Wentz was intercepted by Brandon Bender at the Gamecocks 33 yard line. He returned it to the NDSU 13 where he was brought down by Urzendowski.

The defense responded by holding the Gamecocks to a 26-yard field goal from Connor Rouleau. That made 24-10 with NDSU still in command.

The Bison would respond with a 60-yard drive that resulted in three points after Pedersen knocked in a 31-yard field goal. That gave the Bison a 27-10 lead right before the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was not exactly pretty. NDSU and JSU had a sequence of three straight turnovers. It started when Jenkins had the ball knocked out of his hands by DeLuca recovered by Greg Menard.

NDSU would try a trick a play where back-up QB Easton Stick came in and attempted a pass to Carson Wentz. The throw was intercepted, however, in the end zone. On the very next play, Jenkins would throw a pass that was intercepted by Jordan Champion.

NDSU would break the streak of turnovers when they put together a short touchdown drive. Wentz put the exclamation mark on the drive with a one yard touchdown run. The extra point went through and the Bison had a 34-10 lead.

The Bison would add three more points when Pedersen would knock his third field goal through the uprights to make it a 37-10 lead.

That would be the final as NDSU claimed their fifth straight FCS national title.

Wentz ended the game completing 16 of his 29 passes for 197 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 79 yards on nine carries along with two touchdowns.

More impressive still was NDSU's defense. They held JSU to 204 yards of total offense and just 57 yards passing. JSU converted on just three of 12 third downs.

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