South Dakota State at North Dakota State FCS Football 2016 Quarterfinal Breakdown

Well, just as predicted, South Dakota State was in the best game of the Second Round, when freshman kicker, Chase Vinatieri (yes, the nephew of THAT same Vinatieri of Super Bowl lore) snuck a field goal inside the right upright with less than a minute and one-half remaining.  Villanova gave the Jackrabbits all they could handle, but couldn’t come through in the end, despite outgaining SDSU by over 100 yards.  The normally high-power Jacks were held in check by the stout Wildcat defense.  All except for one player, tight end, Dallas Goedert.  That’s no detriment to Villanova, he’s a handful for everybody.  You’d have to figure quarterback Taryn Christion is going to need a better effort than 190 passing yards and -34 rushing next week for SDSU to advance again.
North Dakota State dismantled the non-scholarship, San Diego Toreros, 45-7.  Despite the lopsided final score, the fact that San Diego made it to the Round of 16 is a great accomplishment for they and their Pioneer League brethren.  In the end, it was just too much Easton Stick, who proved to be the best player on the field Saturday.  Stick only completed 12 of 20 passes, which is a good percentage, but those completions covered 208 yards and three touchdowns.  Add the fact he rushed for another 99, safe to say he had a pretty fun afternoon.  Three other players rushed for more than 40 yards, as the Bison total a yard short of 300 for the day.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know these two Missouri Valley Football Conference teams are long-time rivals.  Not only that, South Dakota State is the only team who was able to knock the Bison off the the pedestal of perfection this season.  On October 15, Taryn Christion hit wideout Jake Wieneke for a 2-yard touchdown pass with one second remaining, to win that game, 19-17.
Expect another knockdown, dragout game this coming weekend.  There are no secrets between these two teams, they play every year and lately, North Dakota State has been the ones who have shown South Dakota State the door during the playoffs.  The history is long, as is the respect.  However, each team has something to avenge in this game: The Bison’s only loss was to SDSU, which cost them the outright MVFC Championship;  The Jackrabbits have been a playoff victim too many times to their northern neighbors and need to jump this hurdle to become the national power they’ve been in the shadow of.  Weather will not be an issue as the game will be indoors...which might, actually, be an advantage for SDSU.  But this is Bison-Time!
Projected Score: North Dakota State 24, South Dakota State 20