Montana State at North Dakota State FCS Playoff Game Breakdown

Montana State at #1 North Dakota State
Montana State defended their homefield in the First Round, beating Incarnate Word, 35-14. Quarterback Troy Andersen had a big game, going 12-of-19 through the air for 164 yards and another 84 on the ground, accounting for a touchdown each way, with no interceptions. Running back Isaiah Ifanse was the workhorse, carrying 30 times for 157 yards. The backbreaker was likely a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown. Overall, the Bobcats defense forced four turnovers and limited UIW to only 18:38 in ball control.
It’s hard not to put shine on or rave about North Dakota State. The only undefeated team in the playoffs, they outscored their opponents by an average of 41-12. The offense is brutally efficient. They average 32:00 of time of possession, converting almost 50% on 3rd down, allowing 31% on 3rd down and an FCS best offensively and defensively on 4th down, if a team thinks that’s an option. Easton Stick is a near all-time winner and a threat both running and throwing the ball. Lance Dunn and Bruce Anderson are a dynamic running back combo. Safety Robbie Grimsley is the defense’s leading tackler and has five interceptions to add to that. Greg Menard has parlayed an injury-plagued 2017 into a great 2018 with 7.5 sacks.
Montana State will need another effort like they did against UIW to have any chance at an upset. Pulling an upset over North Dakota State is a tall order at home, doing it in Fargo will take even more. The Bison will be well rested and the home folks will be plenty rowdy. In actuality, the atmosphere won’t be that dissimilar than what the Bobcats faced at Montana a week ago, except this one will be indoors - with a much stronger opponent on the other sideline.
Prediction: North Dakota State 45, Montana State 14