North Dakota State earns football, financial respect

They defeated James Madison University 17-13 in the title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

NDSU has now won 14 national championships, breaking a tie for the most by any team across any NCAA division. "We made too many mistakes".

The Bison outgained James Madison 264-241 and held the Dukes to just 93 yards rushing.

JMU head coach Mike Houston says, "There are great players individually on both sides of the football, but I think the thing that stands out is that both units play so well together.I think it's going to be hard-hitting, extremely physical, and probably in the teens". "Nobody wants that. I hope we're at our best, I hope JMU is at their best". They're 14-0 and have barely trailed this season.

- Darrius Shepherd's touchdown catch in the second quarter was his first touchdown catch of the year. D'Angelo Amos returned a punt 33 yards to the NDSU 33-yard line.

James Madison's Simeyon Robinson, who had two sacks, blocked a field goal to keep the deficit at four with 4 1/2 minutes remaining before O'Kelly's run on the fake punt. It was capped off by a 1-yard run from Marcus Marshall. JMU was pounding on the door again following a 26-yard punt by backup punter Garret Wegner, who came in the second half after starter Jackson Koonce was presumably injured on a roughing call in the first quarter, a play that led to NDSU's first touchdown.

North Dakota State standout defensive tackle Nate Tanguay said his advice to his younger teammates during championship week is to "lock in" during practices and meetings but relax and enjoy the flurry of activities that includes meeting with former Bison football players and an annual bowling tournament.

The Dukes looked like they were going to back up their coach's words early in the second half.

"I thought our defense did a good job to responding to adversity all season long", said Bison senior linebacker Nick DeLuca.

The Dukes got as close as the 18-yard line before the Bison defense stiffened.

JMU started the possession at their own 27-yard line, and Schor picked up a first down on a 17-yard run to start the team's season-defining drive. The Bison defense knocked down pass to get the ball back on downs with 58 seconds to play.

"Great time to get a first", Klieman said. NDSU finished plus-2 in turnover margin, including two interceptions that both came with James Madison in scoring position.

So when Stick completed his kneel after a 27-yard loss and he knew the clock had drained, he threw the ball high in the air as hundreds of Bison fans stormed the field after a 17-13 victory.

Fans are in "a fight right now for every ticket that's out there", Houston said.

"Field goals don't beat you", Klieman said of his team's defensive effort. Madison was one of seven on third-down opportunities, had turned it over twice, dropped a few passes, committed a roughing-the-punter penalty that led to an NDSU touchdown, given up a 50-yard TD pass caught by a wide-open receiver, possessed the ball for about eight fewer minutes, and had missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt.

  • Stacy Allen