Kevin Schnepf, Published October 20 2012
No. 4 Bison rebound with big win over South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Brock Jensen looked like Brock Jensen again Saturday night at Howard Wood Field.
A week after throwing an uncharacteristic three interceptions, the North Dakota State junior quarterback responded with a four-touchdown effort. Jensen passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another two to help spark the No. 4-ranked Bison to a 54-0 victory against the University of South Dakota in Missouri Valley Football Conference play before 9,269 fans.
“I guess you could call it a statement game,” Jensen said. “It was important for us to move forward and not dwell on that game and not have the same team beat us twice.”
The Bison (6-1, 3-1 MVFC) got back in the win column after a 17-14 home loss against Indiana State the previous week. Two of the interceptions Jensen threw against the Sycamores were returned for touchdowns.
“It was one of those things where you want to bounce back and have that motivation,” Jensen said. “It’s important at the quarterback position to not let it affect you.”
Jensen completed 15 of 21 passes for 195 yards against the Coyotes, and didn’t throw an interception. The 6-foot-3, 224-pound Jensen threw a touchdown pass in the second quarter and added another in the third quarter.
“He was spot-on tonight,” Bison head coach Craig Bohl said. “He threw the ball well and his reads were correct.”
Jensen got off to a fast start, completing 10 of 13 passes for 135 yards in the first two quarters. He scored both his rushing touchdowns in the first half to help the Bison build a 26-point halftime lead.
“I thought we came out and we were really intense and meticulous,” Jensen said. “That is one thing we wanted to do coming into this game.”
Jensen capped NDSU’s first scoring drive, finding the end zone on a 10-yard draw play that gave the Bison a 7-0 lead with 6 minutes, 32 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Jensen added a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter, scoring on a quarterback sneak with the Bison facing a fourth-and-1. That gave NDSU a 20-0 lead with 5:51 to play in the second quarter.
Less than 30 seconds later, Jensen capped his big half. He connected with sophomore wide receiver Nate Moody on a 32-yard scoring play. That touchdown came one play after a Coyotes turnover, staking the Bison a 26-0 lead with 5:22 remaining in the first half.
Jensen played well even though he was without his top two receivers. Zach Vraa and Ryan Smith both missed the game due to injury. Moody and Trevor Gebhart filled in for that missing production. Moody, from Dickinson, N.D., finished with five catches for 91 yards and Trevor Gebhart, from Sioux Falls, had six catches for 81 yards.
“We have a lot of depth at wide receiver,” Jensen said. “Just because Ryan and Zach get a lot of the reps doesn’t mean these other guys can’t play.”
Jensen threw his final touchdown with 8:44 remaining in the third quarter, a 2-yarder to fullback Andrew Bonnet that gave NDSU a 33-0 lead. The Bison took a 40-0 lead after Sam Ojuri scored on a 4-yard touchdown run on the final play of the third quarter.
Jensen didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
“When they are hitting on all cylinders, they are pretty special,” Coyotes head coach Joe Glenn said.
The Bison have a 9-0 record on the road, including wins at neutral sites, since the start of last season.
The NDSU defense stifled the Coyotes, limiting USD to 76 yards on 46 plays. In contrast, the Bison had 385 yards on 68 plays.
“I feel like there was more sense of urgency earlier this week,” Gebhart said. “We talked all week about being more meticulous and more intense.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.
Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com