Bruce Anderson scored five touchdowns — four in the first half — and North Dakota State rolled up 642 yards of offense in crushing Sam Houston State 55-13 on Friday night in Fargo, N.D., to advance to the FCS championship game.
The second-seeded Bison will face the winner of Saturday’s game between defending champion James Madison and NDSU’s Missouri Valley Football Conference rival South Dakota State on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas. James Madison ended the Bison’s run of five straight national championships with a semifinal victory last season, and the Jackrabbits, second to the Bison in the MVFC, beat North Dakota State 33-21 at home on Nov. 4.
Friday night’s game was essentially over at halftime after North Dakota State scored touchdowns on six of its seven offensive possessions. The half ended on the Bearkats’ third turnover, an interception by Tre Dempsey, who also made a fumble recovery.
Sixth-seeded Sam Houston State (12-2) came in with the leading offense in the FCS, averaging over 45 points and 552 yards offense. But the Bearkats were squelched by the Bison, finishing with 352 yards but only 176 in the pivotal first half.
Mount Union wins D-III
D’Angelo Fulford hit Justin Hill for a 42-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter and Mount Union won its 13th Division III national championship with a 12-0 victory over defending champion Mary Hardin-Baylor on Friday night in Salem, Va.
The Purple Raiders (15-0) limited Mary Hardin-Baylor to 144 yards. Mount Union led just 3-0 until Fulford found Hill just behind defensive backs Reginald Cole and Jefferson Fritz. It was the 50th scoring pass of the season for the sophomore, and Hill’s 20th touchdown catch.
“We just had to make a play,” said Hill, who, like Fulford, is only a sophomore. “D-12 threw the ball up and I had to make a play.” The Crusaders (14-1) had not trailed all season and had their 29-game winning streak ended. They also were shut out for just the second time in the 20-year history of their program. The first time was a 28-0 loss to Mississippi College on Oct. 17, 1998, the first season Mary Hardin-Baylor fielded a team.
Mount Union finished with eight sacks for 48 yards, including a safety.
“Everything we did they were ready for it,” Crusaders running back Markeith Miller said. “They had a great game plan.”
The shutout was the first in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl since West Georgia beat Augustana 14-0 in 1982.
Next man up at ASU
New Arizona State coach Herm Edwards promoted Rob Likens to offensive coordinator Friday, hours after Billy Napier left to take the head coaching job at Louisiana-Lafayette. Likens was the co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach this season under fired head coach Todd Graham.