North Dakota State romps back to national title game


FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State has its date with destiny.

And the Bison are giving every indication they will complete their mission in two weeks.

Unbeaten NDSU throttled yet another opponent Friday night, this time red-hot New Hampshire, 52-14, in the semifinal round of the FCS playoffs at a rocking Fargodome.

All that stands between the top-seeded Bison (14-0) and a third straight national title is a victory on Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas, over either second- seeded Eastern Washington or seventh-seeded Towson, who play their semifinal today. The Bison are trying to join the 2005-07 Appalachian State teams as the second FCS program to net the consecutive hat trick of national championships.

The national championship game will be Craig Bohl’s final game as NDSU’s head coach. The Eddie Robinson Award winner for the second straight season accepted the University of Wyoming job on Dec. 8, but he is coaching with the Bison through the playoffs. Defensive coordinator Chris Klieman will become their head coach after the season.

New Hampshire, in the playoffs for the 10th straight year under head coach Sean McDonnell, was making its first appearance in the national semifinals.

The Wildcats’ balanced offense had been averaging 32 points and 450.9 yards per game, but the stingy Bison defense limited them to only 117 yards through the first three quarters and 183 for the game.

Junior R.J. Harris has 33 receiving yards to surpass 1,000 for the season, joining teammate Justin Mello.

 

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