FCS Playoff Game Breakdown: Montana State at North Dakota State

Montana State at North Dakota State
Bobcats running back Isaiah Ifanse did it all against Austin Peay. He ran the ball 26 times for 196 yards, including a 60 yard jaunt just a minute and one-half into the game. He also threw a touchdown pass to defensive lineman Jason Scrempos in the third quarter. He didn’t catch a pass or kick an extra point, so I guess he was slacking a little. Tucker Rovig was 13 of 20 for 114 yards and a score to Kevin Kassis. The big player in the game was the defensive unit who held Austin Peay quarterback JaVaghn Craig to less than 50% passing, picking him off twice and sacking him four times. In what seemed to be a theme for the day, they also held the Governors to 0 yards rushing on 19 carries.
North Dakota State got pulled into a meat grinder with Illinois State. But really, the Bison don’t mind playing that kind of game. It takes a special kind of team to “out Bison” the Bison. What that means is to match the physicality. Physicality on defense, on the offensive line, finishing out runs, it’s a difficult thing to do. And the Redbirds almost did it. The wagon was hitched up to James Robinson again, but NDSU knew it was coming. For the most part, they made him earn it. It wasn’t a great day for Trey Lance. He was 10 of 21 for 135 yards passing and 41 yards rushing. Overall, it was a total team effort with nothing flashy and all the shine given to kicker Griffin Crosa, who made three field goals in the second quarter.
This game is very interesting. Montana State is gonna want to grind out the ball on the ground, like Illinois State. Not sure they have that same kind of physicality as the Redbirds. One has to figure the Bison will be looking forward to playing someone who’s not as familiar with their style and surroundings. The Bobcats definitely have the tools to keep the game in question and pull off the upset with the right breaks. But home field is probably enough here to sway the outcome.
Prediction: North Dakota State 27, Montana State 17