While the North Dakota State Bison may be a Football Championship Series (FCS) team, they aren’t any stranger to success, winning two consecutive National Championships and winning four straight games against FBS teams. That fourth victim? The Kansas State Wildcats.
The Bison were relentless, consistently coming back from behind throughout the evening behind the leadership of senior quarterback Brock Jensen who was rock solid throughout the evening, coming up with big plays time and again. The evening was capped off by a perfectly run two minute drill by the Bison as they marched down the field, scoring with less than 20 seconds remaining to take home the 24-21 victory in front of a shocked crowd in the Little Apple.
Kansas State didn’t play poorly, per se, but never was able to sustain any offensive or defensive momentum against a team, that on paper, they shouldn’t have had much trouble with. Junior college transfer quarterback Jake Waters threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns — against one interception — and enjoyed first-tier performances from wide receivers Tyler Lockett and Tremaine Thompson. The K-State running game was completely stagnant, however, and the lack of offensive balance didn’t allow the Wildcats to maintain any clock control to keep a confident and capable Bison offense off of the field.
Four-year starter Jensen finished things off with 28 seconds remaining with a short touchdown run to put the finishing touches on a masterpiece of an upset for a North Dakota State team that without a doubt should be a favorite to take home a third-straight FCS crown.
In fact, it may not be out of the realm of possibility, given the success the Bison have seen against FBS opponents that they consider a move to the FCS themselves, especially in the light of the playoff system which kicks off in 2014. There would be a home for the Bison given their geography and the need of the smaller conferences to continue to grow as the bigger conferences expand and mega conferences become the norm sooner than later.
Just a warning to Division I Athletic Directors brave enough to schedule the Bison down the road– tread lightly.