Publish date:

North Dakota State heading to record eighth FCS title game

It's become the opposite of noteworthy when North Dakota State wins a game, even an FCS playoff game. But some wins mean more than others.

With a 42-14 thumping of Montana State on Saturday, the Bison advanced to the FCS National Championship for the eighth time. North Dakota State racked up 541 yards of total offense in the win, as six runners combined to total 320 yards on 36 carries and quarterback Trey Lance hit 15 of his 21 throws for 223 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard toss one play after Montana State had tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter. In fact, NDSU scored touchdowns of 75 and 70 yards on consecutive plays after MSU tied the game, turning a 7-7 deadlock into a 29-7 halftime lead.

The eight appearances tie Georgia Southern for the most in subdivision history, and all eight have come in the last nine years.

NDSU is 7-0 in its previous trips to the title game, while Georgia Southern went 6-2.

North Dakota State is 15-0 under first-year head coach Matt Entz, after going 69-6 in Chris Klieman's five seasons and 43-2 in the final three seasons under Craig Bohl, making the program 127-8 since 2011, including a 66-6 mark in Missouri Valley conference play and an incredible 33-1 in playoff games.

This year's team has played all of two games decided by one score -- a 23-16 win at No. 3 South Dakota State on Oct. 26 and a 9-3 triumph over Illinois State in the FCS quarterfinals. The 2019 Bison also have a chance to become the first 16-0 team in NDSU history.

North Dakota State will either face James Madison or Weber State in the title game on Jan. 11. James Madison is the only team to beat NDSU in a playoff game since 2016, dethroning the Bison 27-17 in a semifinal game in 2016.