Montana at North Dakota State FCS Football 2015 Playoffs 2nd Round Breakdown

Montana at North Dakota State FCS Football 2015 Playoffs 2nd Round Breakdown


Montana at North Dakota State, Saturday, 3:30

Montana had to hold on to beat South Dakota State in the first round of the playoffs. After getting off to a 24-0 lead, the Grizzlies allowed SDSU to make a second half comeback to make things interesting. However, Montana was able to control the clock at the end of the game, in large part thanks to diminutive back John Nguyen, and win 24-17. Brady Gustafson threw for 295 yards and receiver Ben Romain Roberts had a big game too. The defense kept the Jackrabbits off-balance and forced them to look to the air, where there was not much success.

North Dakota State’s quest for a fifth straight FCS title begins here. The Bison did not appear as dominate this year as they have in the past, but they still finished 9-2 and 7-1 in conference play. That is still pretty good and no team in the country can control the clock as effectively as North Dakota State. King Frazier has done an admirable job at running back and Carson Wentz is a smart, efficient quarterback. The Bison defense ranks second or third in the MVFC in rush defense, pass defense, total defense and scoring defense.

But what can worry this North Dakota State team is the fact that way back on August 29th, they lost to Montana. The Grizzlies were able to throw all over the NDSU defense. Gustafson threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns and Nguyen did enough on the ground to keep the Bison honest. However, that game was in Missoula. Going to Fargo in a playoff setting is a lot different than playing at home in August. At least Montana will head into this contest with the confidence that they can end North Dakota State’s dynasty. It may not be as thrilling as the August matchup and that will be a good thing for the Bison.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 28, Montana 24


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