Eric Peterson, Published December 14 2013
Bison show no signs of letdown in 48-14 playoff winFARGO – One of the most prolific scoring offenses in Division I FCS hit a speed bump Saturday at the Fargodome.
North Dakota State held Coastal Carolina nearly 29 points below its season average. That lock-down performance helped spark the top-ranked Bison to a 48-14 victory in the national quarterfinals before 18,219 fans at Gate City Bank Field.
“The mindset that we had was we had to come out and be explosive,” said Bison safety Christian Dudzik, who had two interceptions. “We were talking all week that they were saying ‘We’ve never seen an offense like that before.’ “
The Bison (13-0) host the national semifinals at 7:05 p.m. Friday night, a game that will be aired on ESPN2. Two-time defending national champion NDSU has won 22 consecutive games.
“We wanted to prove that we are dominant team,” said Bison quarterback Brock Jensen, who completed 14 of 21 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bison proved why they lead the FCS in scoring defense, allowing 11.2 points per game heading into Saturday. The Chanticleers were averaging 42.9 points per game prior to the quarterfinals.
“We knew they had a good defense,” said Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross, who completed 13 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. “We knew we had to come out playing hot … and unfortunately we didn’t do that today.”
The Bison defense was especially stingy early, forcing Coastal Carolina punts on its first six possessions. The Chanticleers had 35 yards from scrimmage until their final possession of first half. That drive covered 76 yards and ended with a touchdown.
“I thought the speed and the quickness matched up very well and we felt that we could,” Bison head coach Craig Bohl said of his defense versus the Coastal Carolina offense.
“I think we went out there and we did what we wanted to do,” Dudzik added.
While the Chanticleers were stuck in neutral for most of the opening half, the Bison offense hit overdrive early.
On NDSU’s second possession of the game, senior running back Sam Ojuri ripped off a 73-yard touchdown run to give the Bison a 10-0 lead with 6 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
“I don’t believe I did get touched,” said Ojuri, who rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. “Billy Turner made a great block … and all I saw was the end zone.”
That long scoring run proved to be a precursor for the rest of the game. The Bison finished with a season-high 623 yards, including 424 rushing. That was NDSU’s highest rushing output since 1996 against Mankato State.
The Bison scored 34 points in the first half, scoring on six of seven possessions. NDSU place kicker Adam Keller hit a 48-yard field goal at the halftime buzzer for a 34-7 lead.
“North Dakota State outplayed us,” said Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia. “I was a little disappointed that we didn’t execute better. I wasn’t surprised with how well North Dakota State executed.”
Coastal Carolina finished with 281 yards. It had been averaging 491.5 yards per game heading into the Bison game. The Chanticleers’ 14 points was their second-lowest point total this season behind the 10 they scored at South Carolina, a member of the Southeastern Conference.
“I think South Carolina would beat them, but I think (the Bison) would give South Carolina a game,” Moglia said.
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