THIS WEEK: Fifth-ranked North Dakota State (4-0, 1-0 MVFC) hosts 12th-ranked northern Iowa (3-1, 1-0 MVFC) in annual homecoming game at 1 p.m. on Saturday October 9 at Gate City Bank Champ at the Fargodome (18,700). The Panthers, who limited Iowa State to one touchdown in a 16-10 loss on the opening weekend, have won three straight games after their 34-7 home win over Youngstown State last week. .
THE SERIES: This is the 55th meeting between the state of North Dakota and northern Iowa. NDSU has won seven straight wins and 10 of the last 11 games to take a 28-26 lead in the all-time series dating back to 1938. UNI is 1-6 at the Fargodome. The Panthers won 42-27 on their first visit in 2009.
LAST YEAR: Christian watson scored on a 100-yard kickoff return to clear a 6-0 deficit and the NDSU led the rest of the way in last year’s 23-20 win in northern Iowa. Jake reinholz kicked a basket from 42 yards to end the first half with a 10-6 lead, Josh babicz caught a 36-yard TD from Zeb Noland in the third trimester, and Hunter LuepkeTD’s two-yard run capped a 12-game, 71-yard streak in the fourth quarter that made it 23-12. Tyler Hoosman’s second TD of the game and a 2-point conversion brought UNI down to three, but the NDSU punter Garret wegner pinned the Panthers to their own 4 with 1:00 to go and the Bison forced three incomplete before a fourth save to seal the victory. James kaczor had a high of 13 tackles and Eli Mostaert had seven tackles, including two sacks and a third tackle for a loss, as well as a pass break as the NDSU limited the Panthers to 98 rushing yards and 5 of 14 on the third down.
RETURN GAMES: North Dakota State is 57-37-3 in 97 homecoming games since 1921. The game did not take place in 1943, 1944 or 2020. This is the fourth appearance for the northern Iowa on the return of the NDSU. The Panthers lost 42-14 in 1978, 31-28 in 2015 and 46-14 in 2019. The Bison have won nine straight home games since losing back-to-back 2009 against Illinois State (27-24) and 2010 against Western. Illinois (28-16).
KLABO TO INTRODUCE: Former NDSU offensive lineman Chuck klabo will be inducted with the 49th Class of the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday October 8 and presented on the field at half-time of Saturday’s game. Klabo was an All-America left tackle on the 2000 NCAA Division II semifinal team that went 12-2 overall. He was titular for four years, twice winner of all regions and twice chosen by the Northern Central Conference. Klabo was invited to the 2003 Rotary Gridiron Classic All-Star Game and the 2003 NFL Combine before spending two seasons with the Cleveland Browns organization. The other seven recipients are three-time All-America softball pitcher Lindsey (Graham) Gustafson, seven-time All-America middle distance runner Dr Andrew Moen, seven-time All-America multi-event track and field athlete Andi (Noel) Olsonawski , two-time national heavyweight wrestling champion Nick Severson, 19-time All-America sprinter Jill (Theeler) Schlekeway, all-time top scorer in women’s football Nicole (VandenBos) Hurt, and retired men’s track head coach / cross country Don Larson.
OPENING OF THE BISON WIN CONFERENCE: North Dakota State won its 11th straight conference opener 16-10 and ended North Dakota’s 12-game home streak last week with three field goals by Jake reinholz and a strong defensive performance evidenced by two saves in fourth position and a pivot Dawson weber interception deep within NDSU territory. Reinholz connected from a 45-yard, 34, and 30-yard career and added an extra point after Quincy PattersonTD from 3 yards with 1:13 to play. Patterson recorded a high of 19 carries and 92 yards, while fullback Hunter Luepke rushed for 40 of his 51 yards in the last eight-game scoring campaign. Michael Tutsi had eight tackles, a game-high, Jackson hankey had seven tackles, one tackle for loss and a rushing quarterback, and James kaczor finished with six tackles, including a sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
SUCCESS OF THE RED ZONE: North Dakota State leads the FCS in the red zone defense (0.250) allowing just one touchdown on four occasions inside the 20-yard line. Bison’s defense has a salvage fumble, an interception and a turnover on downs in the red zone. Last week’s opponent, North Dakota, did not enter the red zone for the second year in a row against the Bison. UND scored on a 30-yard passing play and 46-yard field goal. Towson has the only red zone points against NDSU this year, a touchdown with 2:20 to go in a 35-7 Bison win.
FCS Red Zone Score Defense Leaders
.250 – State of North Dakota (1-4)
.333 – Princeton (1-3)
.500 – Penn (6-12)
.545 – Yale (6-11)
.556 – South Dakota State (5-9)
FIRST RANKING DEFENSE: In addition to its No.1 ranked red zone defense, the State of North Dakota leads the Missouri Valley Football Conference and ranks fourth nationally in total defense (219.8) and second in scorers defense (5.8) and third conversion defense (0.218). Northern Iowa is fifth in defensive scoring (10.5) and, like the NDSU, has allowed just three touchdowns this season. Only Princeton (1) and Dartmouth (2) allowed fewer touchdowns.
NO. 1 QUICK ATTACK: North Dakota State continues to rank No.1 in the FCS with an average of 317.0 rushing yards per game. The Bison are the only team in the FCS to over 300 yards per game rushing and also lead all of Division I with 7.08 yards per carry (ahead of the school’s record pace of 6.41 set in 1988 and almost matched in 2018 and 2019). Only the Air Force (367.4) and Army (318.2) average more rushing yards per game in Division I. NDSU has four running backs averaging more than seven yards per carry in TaMerik Williams (9.1), Jalen bussey (9.0), Hunter Luepke (8.4) and Dominique gonnella (7.6), plus quarterback Quincy PattersonThe 5.0 average and the team top 41 litters.
* Courtesy of Ryan Perreault, NDSU Athletics