Who: North Dakota State vs. Towson
What: FCS Championship Game
When: 2 p.m. ET Saturday
Where: FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, Texas. Broadcast nationally on ESPN2
Why Towson will win: The running game wins in the FCS playoffs, and Towson can run the football. The Tigers have compiled 153 rushes for 902 yards (5.9 per carry) and 14 touchdowns in its three-game run to Frisco. Senior quarterback Peter Athens has played the perfect counterpart to the Towson running game, hitting on 29-of-37 passes for 560 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions - good for an astronomical 250.11 quarterback rating.
After a playoff run that included road wins at Ohio Valley champion and No. 2 seed Eastern Illinois and a win at Big Sky champion and No. 3 seed Eastern Washington, Towson won't be intimated to match North Dakota State tackle for tackle and block for block.
Why North Dakota State will win: Because it's North Dakota State, and winning is what North Dakota State does. No team does a better job of dragging its opponents into its particular style of fight and making its opponent play a game it isn't necessarily built to win. For evidence of that, check the Bison's last two FCS championship wins where, over the past two years, North Dakota State was outscored by a combined 16-13 in the first half, and then outscored Sam Houston State 43-3 in the second half.
More than the stats (where North Dakota State matches up well, by the way), this is what will decide the game. Towson can almost certainly play North Dakota State's style for 30 minutes. But can they do it for 60?
And then there's the sentimental factor, with Craig Bohl, a former Nebraska assistant who did his best Tom Osborne-in-the-1990's approximation in Fargo, coaching his last game in green and gold before leaving for Wyoming.