NDSU Finishes Regular Season Unbeaten with Win Over Southern Illinois
The North Dakota State Bison finished off their regular season schedule with a rout of Southern Illinois, 65-17 at the Fargodome.
Easton Stick threw for three touchdowns and 302 yards on 16 of 21 passing and the Bison (11-0, 8-0) ran for 355 yards and six touchdowns on the ground as they would put up a total of 663 yards on the Southern Illinois Salukis (2-9, 1-7).
It wasn't exactly the greatest of starts for the Bison when Je'Quan Burton returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown as SIU went up 7-0, but that was the only lead the Salukis would see all game. NDSU scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the game and five of their first six with each score coming in four-or-less plays in each of those possessions. Needless to say, the Bison were scoring early and often.
Ty Brooks started off the scoring for the Bison with a 36-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 just over two minutes into the game. Stick would run one in for a 1-yard touchdown on their next possession to make it 14-7. The Salukis would tie it when SIU quarterback Matt DeSomer hit Raphael Leonard for a 59-yard touchdown to make it 14-14, but on the ensuing possession, Stick completed a long pass play to Nate Jenson for a 60-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 and the Bison would never look back. After an SIU fumble, NDSU scored on the very next play with a 22-yard touchdown throw from Stick to Ben Ellefson. It was 28-14 at the end of the first quarter.
NDSU would add another score in the second quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Shepherd to make it 35-14 at the half.
The running game took over from there as Bruce Anderson had touchdown runs of 18 and 30 yards in the third quarter. Saybein Clark and Adam Cofield added touchdown runs in the fourth quarter of 19 and 20 yards, respectively, to finish out the scoring.
The Bison defense held the Salukis to just 286 yards of total offense and only 88 yards rushing. The defense also got in on the scoring, forcing a safety in the third quarter. Robbie Grimsley also made his 15th career interception for the Bison.
NDSU will know wait for the FCS Playoff pairings to be announced to see when and who they'll play next as the playoff pairings will be unveiled tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU.