NDSU vs ISU 31 to 10

After the grind of the non-conference schedule it’s hard to believe the MVFC season starts today. It’s homecoming for the NDSU Bison hosting the Illinois State Redbirds.

Redbird Quarterback, Tre Roberson, and Running Back, Marshaun Coprich, are gone this year and with them the Redbird ground game. The 2016 Redbirds are a young team, but they did beat Northwestern (a Big Ten team) week one this season.
The Bison did not play the Redbirds in the 2014 and 2015 regular seasons, but both teams met in the 2014 FCS National Championship game. NDSU won 29–27. The Redbirds will want some playback. They haven’t won in Fargo since our 2009 Homecoming Game. Will they ruin NDSU’s 96th annual Homecoming?

NDSU RB #22 King Frazier runs for 6 yards to the Illinois State 31, First Down Bison. Tackle by SS #2 Alec Kocour. Fourth and 1 at the Illinois State 37 with 7 minutes left in the First Quarter. CB #10 Davontae Harris over DT #99 Nate Tanguay.
RB #22 King Frazier runs for 6 yards to the Illinois State 31, First Down NDSU. –Photo DSC02527 by Craig Maas.

Note: I wrote the Game Review (below) shortly after the game, which I attended and photographed. My photographs cover most of the game and each photo’s description follows the play-by-play, so I recommend you look at the photos in the gallery or use the slideshow for more photos of the game.

Game Review


Game Day
From 1:05 pm to 4:10 pm on the Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome with 18,907 in attendance.

Nick DeLuca Is Out For Season
Nick DeLuca went in for shoulder surgery after the Iowa game. NDSU’s star Linebacker played through the pain during the EWU and Iowa games, but the damage was too much. Nick will miss the remainder of the games this season. The NCAA may offer him a medical hardship waiver so he can return to the Bison in 2017. DeLuca was on the 32nd annual Butkus Award watch list. The only FCS player so honored, and the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year watch list. DeLuca is a first-team all-conference and runner-up for the MVFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. Linebacker Matt Plank will fill in for DeLuca. The three game non-conference schedule was rough. Many other Bison players suffered minor injuries, so a bye week before homecoming was welcomed.

NDSU’s 96th Annual Homecoming
During the game a number of former NDSU athletes were inducted to the 45th Bison Athletic Hall of Fame. Two Bison football players were announced: All-time leading Running Back Lamar Gordon (1998–01) and All-America Linebacker Jared Maher (1996–2000). All-America, Lamar Gordon rushed for 4,696 career yards, and was a Harlon Hill Award finalist. He spent five years with the Rams, Dolphins, Eagles and Lions. Jarred Maher led the Bison in tackles in his final two seasons; an All-North Central Conference performer in each. Other inductees honored during the game include: Angie (Converse) Grove (volleyball); Ryan Wolters (wrestling), All-America catcher/outfielder Shelly (Rhein) Rowedder (softball), Kelli Layman (women’s basketball coach), Scott Miller (radio broadcaster), and the 1972 men’s cross country team.
NDSU’s biggest; brightest star: Carson Wentz was watching from the press box. He was here with CJ Smith. The Philadelphia ‘Eagles’ have a Bye week; so both have a chance to come back to Fargo and watch the game. Former Linebacker: Joe Mays (2007) is currently a Free Agent in the NFL and took time off to attend a game. He hasn’t been back in Fargo since 2009’s Homecoming game.

Former Bison Joe Mays called the toss and won for NDSU. The Bison defer to the second half.

First Quarter

NDSU #36 Cam Pedersen with a 62-yard kickoff. #21 Jeremy Graves returns it 14 yards to the ISU 17 where he’s tackled by LB #45 Levi Jordheim.
ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is complete to WR #82 Anthony Warrum for 11 yards and an easy First Down. Warrum is brought down by CB #21 Jalen Allison and SS #5 Robbie Grimsley. Kolbe with another quick pass to WR #19 Anthony Fowler for 9 yards. DE #96 Greg Menard joins Allison on the tackle. Kolbe throws to TE #85 Tylor Petkovich. The ball is too low and LB #41 MJ Stumpf breaks it up. ISU goes to the ground, but RB #7 George Moreira is stopped at the line of scrimmage by LB #44 Matt Plank and DT #63 Aaron Steidl.
ISU #88 Reece Attard (Australia) punts out-of-bounds at the NDSU 22.

NDSU RB #22 King Frazier runs up the middle for 6 yards. QB #12 Easton Stick runs to his right, but DT #98 Dalton Keene gabs him before he can turn up-field for a loss of 2 yards. ISU LB #5 B.J. Bello got to NDSU QB #12 Easton Stick as the ball came out, so the pass to WR #20 Darrius Shepherd falls incomplete.
NDSU #19 Jackson Koonce punts the ball 38 yards where WR #11 Spencer Schnell signals for a Fair Catch at the Illinois State 36.

ISU RB #13 Jamal Towns runs for 5 yards from the delayed hand off to the Illinois State 41. QB #16 Jake Kolbe is flushed out of the pocket. He runs for the sidelines; chased out-of-bounds by LB #41 MJ Stumpf for a loss of a yard. Kolbe, under tremendous pressure by three Bison defenders finds WR #12 Christian Gibbs for a First Down at the Illinois State 49.
QB #16 Jake Kolbe quickly finds WR #82 Anthony Warrum for 8 yards. RB #7 George Moreira bounces to the outside for a 15-yard run. He’s brought down by LB #41 MJ Stumpf and CB #23 Jaylaan Wimbush.
Moreira runs up the middle and shakes off a tackle for 18 yards. It takes FS #3 Tre Dempsey and DE #93 Jarrod Tuszka to bring him down. First and Goal at the NDSU 10.
RB #7 George Moreira gets another 4 yards before DT #63 Aaron Steidl takes him down. QB #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is too high for TE #86 Michael Clements in the endzone. Kolbe with a fast slate pass to WR #12 Christian Gibbs. Gibbs wasn’t ready and Kolbe couldn’t hold it any longer with DT #99 Nate Tanguay about to sack him.
ISU #97 Sean Slattery with 23-yard field goal, with 8:12 left in the first quarter. ISU leads NDSU 3 to 0.

ISU #97 Sean Slattery with a kickoff to the endzone. WR #13 Eric Perkins returns it 22 yards before backing and crashing into LB #40 De Kelly-Martin.
NDSU QB #12 Easton Stick’s looks through a progression of receivers before hitting RB #22 King Frazier for 8 yards. Tackle by CB #10 Davontae Harris and LB #32 Alejandr Rivera. Frazier bounces off the Redbirds Defensive Line, and finds 3 yards to the NDSU 33 for a First Down, but TE #86 Jeff Illies is called for a False Start.
RB #10 Lance Dunn runs into DE #91 Adam Conley for a yard. QB #12 Easton Stick rolls out and hits TE #85 Nate Jenson for 14 yards and a First Down at the NDSU 43
QB #12 Easton Stick runs up the middle, right into DT #98 Dalton Keene for a yard. RB #22 King Frazier runs up the middle for 5 yards. QB #12 Easton Stick stays on his feet as he’s almost sacked twice! Stick’s pass is complete to WR #16 RJ Urzendowski for 5 yards and a Bison First Down at the Illinois State 46.
RB #10 Lance Dunn runs for 3 yards. RB #22 King Frazier runs for 4 yards. Timeout Illinois State, as Coach Brock Spack sees something he doesn’t like. RB #22 King Frazier runs for 2 yards before he’s tackled by LB #34 Brent Spack (Brock’s son) and LB #32 Alejandr Rivera. Fourth and 1 at the Illinois State 37. RB #22 King Frazier runs through the hole LG #66 Zack Johnson makes for 6 yards and the First Down. Tackle by SS #2 Alec Kocour.
WR #20 Darrius Shepherd times the jet sweep perfectly and turns up field through a hole in the Redbirds line. He accelerates to the endzone 31 yards away. 1:14 left in the First Quarter.
NDSU takes the lead 7 to 3 after #36 Cam Pedersen’s extra point.

NDSU #36 Cam Pedersen with a 63-yard kickoff. RB #25 James Robinson takes the ball on the two, 17 yards before he’s dropped by LB #1 Chris Board. NDSU DT #63 Aaron Steidl is called Offside for five yards. First and 5 at the Illinois State 24.
ISU RB #7 George Moreira gets one yard. QB #16 Jake Kolbe is sacked by LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker for loss of 9 yards. Kolbe didn’t have a chance as Gee-Tucker came full speed untouched. The Homecoming crowd comes alive. A nice way to end the First Quarter, but it also gave the Redbirds time to regroup.

Second Quarter

ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is complete to wide open WR #12 Christian Gibbs for 14 yards and a First Down.
QB #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass across the middle is complete to WR #82 Anthony Warrum for 13 yards and another First Down. Tackle by LB #41 MJ Stumpf and SS #5 Robbie Grimsley.
RB #13 Jamal Towns runs into his own tackler, for 1 yard. NDSU FS #3 Tre Dempsey, bats down QB #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass to WR #11 Spencer Schnell. Third and 9 at the Illinois State 44
QB #16 Jake Kolbe scrambles out of the pock and hits WR #82 Anthony Warrum racing down the side lines: 38 yards to the NDSU 18 and a First Down.
On the next play Kolbe completes to WR #19 Anthony Fowler in the endzone for a Touchdown. Fowler was able to get behind FS #3 Tre Dempsey and CB #23 Jaylaan Wimbush. 13:06 remains in the half. After the #97 Sean Slattery extra point, the Redbirds retake the lead 10 to 7.

ISU #97 Sean Slattery kicks the football to the NDSU 6. NDSU WR #13 Eric Perkins zig-zags to the NDSU 32. LB #49 Kyle Harbour forces a fumble. NDSU WR #81 Isaiah Frandsen gets on top of it at the NDSU 35.
NDSU QB #12 Easton Stick kills the play at the line. At the snap, Stick sees WR #16 RJ Urzendowski racing down the sidelines. Stick winds up and lets it fly for a 65-yard Touchdown. #36 Cam Pedersen’s extra point is good. With 12:48 left in the half, the Bison lead the Redbirds 13 to 10.

NDSU #36 Cam Pedersen on kickoff puts the ball on the 6-yard-line. RB #25 James Robinson seems contained, running to the sidelines, when he breaks through and heads up field to the Illinois State 28. CB #23 Jaylaan Wimbush makes the tackle.
ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is ruled complete for 22 yards after official review. On the play NDSU SS #5 Robbie Grimsley pushes WR #19 Anthony Fowler out-of-bounds, but Fowler manages to get a foot down. A long review is like a free time out.
QB #16 Jake Kolbe’s deep, deep pass is complete to WR #19 Anthony Fowler for 41 yards to the NDSU 9 and a First Down. The Bison secondary is getting burned by these Redbird receivers, this time CB #35 Dom Davis lets Fowler get a couple steps on him. The problem is Fowler came over from track and has more speed than our Corners are use to?
RB #27 Demarco Corbin arcs to the right, but SS #5 Robbie Grimsley and LB #41 MJ Stumpf are coming up to meet him for no gain. RB #7 George Moreira hits the line for 4 yards. Kolbe is sacked for loss of 4 yards by DT #63 Aaron Steidl. Kolbe fumbles the ball and LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker makes the recovery at the NDSU 8. The Bison Secondary took away the slant route, Kolbe held the ball too long and the Bison made him pay.

NDSU RB #10 Lance Dunn is tackled by LB #31 Bryce Holm for a loss of two. RB #22 King Frazier moves the ball out to the NDSU 10. The tackle was made by DT #99 Matt McCown and DE #95 Jason Harris. QB #12 Easton Stick dumps off to RB #25 Chase Morlock, who takes off like a freight train down the middle of the field for 52 yards. CB #10 Davontae Harris finally takes him down at the Illinois State 38.
RB #10 Lance Dunn beats LB #34 Brent Spack, and QB #12 Easton Stick finds Dunn in stride for 38 yards and a Touchdown. #36 Cam Pedersen makes the extra point. With 8:43 left in the half, the Bison turn a possible Redbird TD into one of their own and extend their lead to 21 to 10. The crowd goes wild.

NDSU #36 Cam Pedersen on the kickoff to RB #25 James Robinson, who returns it 20 yards to the ISU 34. CB #23 Jaylaan Wimbush and WR #13 Eric Perkins take him down. The Bison are out of position and have to call a Timeout to get set.
ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe runs out of the pocket and passes to TE #85 Tylor Petkovich for 5 yards. Kolbe’s next pass is to WR #11 Spencer Schnell for 4 yards. A similar play to the near sidelines. Kolbe throws into the tuff; well short of WR #12 Christian Gibbs. #88 Reece Attard with a ‘rugby style’ punt, downed at the NDSU 16.

NDSU QB #12 Easton Stick runs a little sweep for 4 yards before SS #2 Alec Kocour takes him down. RB #10 Lance Dunn gallops through a hole in the Redbird line for 7 yards. Dunn is tackled by DT #98 Dalton Keene and DE #95 Jason Harris but not before he gets a First Down at the NDSU 27.
RB #22 King Frazier up the middle for 5 yards behind the Bison Offensive Line surge. Frazier runs for another 4 yards. Frazier runs into CB #10 Davontae Harris, but King spins and stretches to get the First Down. It’s close; the officials measure. The Redbirds call a short Time Out. Brock Spack wants the officials to review the spot. They do, but the First Down stands.
RB #22 King Frazier for 2 yards: straight ahead into SS #2 Alec Kocour and LB #31 Bryce Holm. RB #10 Lance Dunn gets 3 on the ground; the Redbird D-line converges. QB #12 Easton Stick’s pass is complete to TE #86 Jeff Illies, but Illies can’t get the First Down as FS #9 Mitchell Brees and CB #14 Drashane Glass hold him up one-yard short. #19 Jackson Koonce with 34-yard punt. A fair catch called by WR #11 Spencer Schnell at the Illinois State 20

ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is high and comes off the hands of WR #82 Anthony Warrum. Kolbe’s next pass was batted down by DE #97 Brad Ambrosius. The Bison give Kolbe a 6-yard pass to WR #11 Spencer Schnell, but CB #35 Dom Davis and LB #41 MJ Stumpf are waiting for him. ISU #88 Reece Attard with a 37-yard punt. NDSU WR #13 Eric Perkins returns the ball 13 yards. Perkins makes a nice cut to get extra yards, but then the play turns into a Rugby Scrum, with players from both teams pushing the stacked up runner back and forth until the whistle blows at the NDSU 50.

NDSU RB #25 Chase Morlock takes an angle to the far sidelines and gets 8 yards before SS #2 Alec Kocour takes him down. QB #12 Easton Stick fires a bullet down the middle of the field to WR #13 Eric Perkins. It would have been a good chunk of yards, but the ISU Corner was there to break it up; the pass is incomplete. QB #12 Easton Stick takes a high snap and runs up the center for 7 yards. NDSU calls a Timeout to preserve the clock at 00:35.
First and 10 at the Illinois State 35, QB #12 Easton Stick scrambles a little bit and finds NDSU sophomore TE #85 Nate Jenson behind CB #1 Ade Kilpatrick in the endzone: Touchdown Bison with 27 seconds left in the half.
After #36 Cam Pedersen’s extra point the Bison build their half-time lead: 28 to 10.

NDSU #19 Jackson Koonce on the kickoff: 58 yards to RB #25 James Robinson. Robinson takes it from the 7 to the Illinois State 25 behind his blockers and angling to the far sideline. The tackle was made by CB #23 Jaylaan Wimbush and LB #45 Levi Jordheim.
ISU RB #7 George Moreira up the middle for 5 yards, before he’s tackled by LB #41 MJ Stumpf on the final play of the half.

Third quarter

ISU #97 Sean Slattery with the kickoff to start the second half. NDSU 11, RB #25 Chase Morlock takes the ball from the 11 to the NDSU 20.
NDSU QB #12 Easton Stick rolls out, but can’t find any receivers. DE #95 Jason Harris keeps Stick behind the line of scrimmage. No gain on the play. WR #16 RJ Urzendowski on a jet-sweep, runs for 4 yards. Stick’s pass is incomplete to WR #83 Dallas Freeman. #19 Jackson Koonce punts the ball 32 yards to the ISU where it’s downed.

ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is complete to WR #11 Spencer Schnell on the far sidelines for 8 yards. LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker and CB #23 Jaylaan Wimbush, keep him from getting any additional yards. Kolbe is sacked for loss of 10 yards by DE #96 Greg Menard. Kolbe is also called for Intentional Grounding. Third and 12 at the Illinois State 42. Kolbe hunts for his receivers, but has no time, he’s being chased and finally sacked for a loss of 8 yards by DE #95 Caleb Butler. #88 Reece Attard punts to the NDSU 23. WR #13 Eric Perkins gets nowhere, fumbles, and recovers his fumble for 7 more yards. Perkins was tackled by LB #32 Alejandr Rivera and LS #37 Seth Combs.

NDSU RB #22 King Frazier on a second effort gets 7 yards before he’s brought down by CB #14 Drashane Glass. Frazier runs for another yard. RB #10 Lance Dunn gets the First Down with a 3-yard run.
RB #10 Lance Dunn runs for 4 yards. RB #22 King Frazier runs for 2 yards. QB #12 Easton Stick’s pass is incomplete as CB #14 Drashane Glass gets WR #16 RJ Urzendowski out of position. #19 Jackson Koonce gets off a good 40-yard punt. Fair catch called by WR #11 Spencer Schnell at the Illinois State 13.

ISU RB #25 James Robinson runs for 21 yards before he’s tackled by FS #3 Tre Dempsey.
Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe throws to Robinson for 13 yards, and it’s First Down Illinois State at their 47.
QB #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is complete to WR #12 Christian Gibbs for 12 yards and a First Down. Gibbs is run out-of-bounds by CB #21 Jalen Allison. The Redbirds are starting to get a good drive going.
RB #13 Jamal Towns gets 1 yard before he’s tackle by SS #5 Robbie Grimsley and DE #94 Stanley Jones. Kolbe’s pass is complete to RB #25 James Robinson, but he’s tackle for a loss of 5 yards by LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker. Kolbe overthrows a wide open WR #11 Spencer Schnell. #88 Reece Attard punts to NDSU. WR #13 Eric Perkins calls for a Fair Catch at the NDSU 12.

NDSU RB #22 King Frazier pushes the line for 5 yards. QB #12 Easton Stick on play action finds a wide open WR #20 Darrius Shepherd for 13 yards. Shepherd is pushed out-of-bounds by FS #9 Mitchell Brees.
QB #12 Easton Stick with a quick sideline pass to WR #20 Darrius Shepherd; gets 5 yards with his legs before he’s tackled by CB #14 Drashane Glass. RB #10 Lance Dunn finds running room to his right for 6 yards. First and 10 at the NDSU 41.
RB #10 Lance Dunn gets another First down running to his left this time for 15 yards, before FS #9 Mitchell Brees pushes him out of bounds. Nice to see Dunn’s speed. He can certainly run with power but he has a lot of speed too.
QB #12 Easton Stick rolls out to his right and hits TE #87 Connor Wentz in stride for 12 yards. He brought down by FS #9 Mitchell Brees at the Illinois State 32. First Down NDSU. Connor’s cousin Carson Wentz is in the press box today for Homecoming. The Philadelphia ‘Eagles’ have a bye week, so Carson has the weekend off to come home, go hunting, and catch a Bison game.
RB #22 King Frazier runs into RG #70 Jack Plankers, and DL #48 Nathan Iloilo drops him for a loss of two yards. QB #12 Easton Stick to WR #13 Eric Perkins for 5 yards down the middle. Some serious pressure on Stick by SS #2 Alec Kocour, but Stick gets the pass off to RB #22 King Frazier. DT #98 Dalton Keene is waiting; no gain on the play. A low snap is grabbed by #7 Cole Davis and #36 Cam Pedersen puts it through the uprights. A 47-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the third quarter. This drive took 5:37 off the clock. Time the Redbirds can’t afford. NDSU extends its lead 31 to 10.

NDSU #19 Jackson Koonce on the kickoff. ISU WR #21 Jeremy Graves returns the ball 13 yards before SS #38 Jaxon Brown grabs his heel and takes him down at the Illinois State 16.
ISU QB #16 Jake Kolbe is flush out of the pocket. The fans start to roar as as DE #93 Jarrod Tuszka catches Kolbe and sacks him at the ISU 3-yard-line. A nice way for the Bison to end the Third Quarter. Four Finger time as the players, coaches, and fans hold up four fingers.. the Bison play hard all four quarters. They’re not going to let up.

Fourth Quarter

ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe with a quick pass to WR #11 Spencer Schnell for 4 yards. Tackle was made by LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker. Kolbe’s pass is complete to WR #19 Anthony Fowler at the ISU 15. Fourth and 11. #88 Reece Attard with a 45-yard punt. A Fair Catch is called by WR #20 Darrius Shepherd at the NDSU 40.

NDSU WR #4 Dimitri Williams on the jet-sweep. But Williams can only find 2 yards before LB #32 Alejandr Rivera and LB #34 Brent Spack push him out-of-bounds. DT #99 Matt McCown is called for a 15-yard personal foul. It’s a late hit but McCown ran into DL #92 Matt Swaine and #34 Brent Spack not Williams. This drives coach Brock Spack crazy.
RB #10 Lance Dunn runs into LB #5 B.J. Bello and LB #34 Brent Spack for no gain. Dunn gets 4 yards on his next carry. Timeout North Dakota State. QB #12 Easton Stick called it. He ran out of time to change the play. During the time out Coach Spack took to the field to give the Refs a piece of his mind about the Personal Foul call. His assistant coach had to come out and get him before the team got a technical foul. The NDSU student section was chanting, “Kick him out, kick him out.” Quite the drama off camera. QB #12 Easton Stick swings to his right, finds a gap, runs for 7 yards and gets the First Down, all before SS #2 Alec Kocour takes him down.
RB #22 King Frazier runs up the middle for 6 yards. The tackled was made by DE #95 Jason Harris and SS #2 Alec Kocour. Frazier gets 10 yards on his next run on a great second effort. First and 10 at the Illinois State 16.
QB #12 Easton Stick throws it away. RB #22 King Frazier with 2 yards before he’s tackled by LB #32 Alejandr Rivera and DE #92 Matt Swaine. RB #10 Lance Dunn runs into DE #45 James Graham for a yard. #36 Cam Pedersen misses a 30-yard field goal, slightly to the left.

First and 10 at the Illinois State 20, ISU QB #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is incomplete to WR #12 Christian Gibbs. Kolbe is sacked off the blindside for a loss of 7 yards by DE #95 Caleb Butler. Kolbe runs out-of-bounds to the ISU 19. #88 Reece Attard punts 45 yards to WR #20 Darrius Shepherd. Shepherd bobbles the ball before he’s tackled by RB #13 Jamal Towns and LB #5 B.J. Bello at the NDSU 36. [NDSU WR #13 Eric Perkins is sidelined with a thumb injury, which is why Shepherd took the punt.]

NDSU RB #22 King Frazier runs for 2 yards before CB #14 Drashane Glass and DE #95 Jason Harris stop him. RB #10 Lance Dunn runs into DL #48 Nathan Iloilo for no gain. RB #22 King Frazier runs for 5 yards until SS #2 Alec Kocour and FS #9 Mitchell Brees push him out-of-bounds at the NDSU 43. #19 Jackson Koonce punts to WR #11 Spencer Schnell, who calls a Fair Catch at the ISU 17.

ISU Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe’s pass is complete to WR #82 Anthony Warrum for 12 yards. Warrun drags CB #21 Jalen Allison past the First Down marker.
Kolbe’s next pass is complete to WR #80 Michael Kolzow; pushed out-of-bounds by LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker. Kolbe winds up and throws a deep pass. WR #19 Anthony Fowler beats SS #5 Robbie Grimsley, but drops the pass. Kolbe hits Fowler with his next pass for 21 yards. First and 10 at the NDSU 40. Is SS #5 Robbie Grimsley playing too far off? Or is Kolbe directing his passes between the Bison zone coverage?
QB #16 Jake Kolbe is almost hit, but the pass is complete to WR #12 Christian Gibbs on the side lines for 4 yards. RB #27 Demarco Corbin runs up the middle for 4 yards into DT #99 Nate Tanguay. Kolbe’s pass is incomplete to WR #11 Spencer Schnell. Fourth and 2 at the NDSU 32, Kolbe under pressure by LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker, the pass sails over WR #80 Michael Kolzow’s head. Gee-Tucker puts a big hit on Kolbe. Kolbe is slow to get up and it’s a long walk back to the sidelines.

NDSU Junior QB #7 Cole Davis comes in for North Dakota State. Sophomore WR #18 Khayvon Hawkins is called for a False Start. Red Shirt Freshman RB #24 Demaris Purifoy runs into LB #31 Bryce Holm and DT #98 Dalton Keene for no gain. Then Purifoy runs into DT #99 Matt McCown and DE #91 Adam Conley for no gain. Illinois State calls a time with 2:12 left in the game. I assume they’re practicing their 2-minute drill. Purifoy has better luck running to the outside and gets 9 yards before SS #2 Alec Kocour makes the tackle. Another ISU timeout. #19 Jackson Koonce’s punt 34-yards punt is downed at the Illinois State 30.

ISU has changed Quarterbacks too. #3 Tristan Smith takes over for Illinois State. Smith’s pass is incomplete to WR #12 Christian Gibbs- it’s caught out-of-bounds. Smith’s pass is complete to TE #86 Michae Clements for 18 yards. Tackle by LB #45 Levi Jordheim and WR/CB #9 Marquise Bridges.
RB #25 James Robinson keeps running slowly the wrong way. He was dropped for a loss of 9 yards by CB #35 Dom Davis and CB #2 Quinten McCoy. Smith is flushed out of the pocket, but then runs 9 yards. Smith’s pass on the run is incomplete to WR #82 Anthony Warrum. Smith is pushed out-of-bounds by CB #2 Quinten McCoy a couple yards short.

First and 10 at the NDSU 49. QB #7 Cole Davis takes a knee in the Victory Formation and the game is over. North Dakota State beats Illinois State 31 to 10.

Post Game

Nate Jenson, Bruce Anderson, and Eric Perkins
Tight End #85 Nate Jenson had two catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. Jenson hails from Waupaca, WI. As did former NDSU star quarterback Brock Jensen, unrelated. A promising kid. He made up for Running Back #08 Bruce Anderson, who was out with a lower leg injury. Anderson is the FCS active career leader in kickoff returns with a 31.5 average. He has twenty-five career returns for 787 yards and two touchdowns. Last year Anderson had 585 return yards; averaging 36.56 yards per return, including 100-yard and 97-yard touchdowns in the NCAA playoffs.
In addition Wide Receiver #13 Eric Perkins injured his thumb in the second half. Anderson and Perkins are the Bison’s return men. So that becomes an issue. The secondary is also problematic: with little experience and even less depth. Strong Safety #29 Eric Bachmeier saw limited play today.

Easton Stick
NDSU Quarterback, #12 Easton Stick was named NDSU Player Of The Game. Stick came out strong in the Second Quarter. He went into the locker room at the end of the first half: completing 8 of 10 passes for 221 yards and three Touchdowns to: WR #16 RJ Urzendowski, RB #10 Lance Dunn, and TE #85 Nate Jenson. He completed passes to 9 receivers and finished the day with 256 passing yards, one yard shy of his career high. The Bison switched to their power run game in the second half. Running Back #22 King Frazier led the rushing attack with 20 carries for 76 yards.

RJ Urzendowski
NDSU Wide Receiver #16 RJ Urzendowski doesn’t see the ball as often as I would like but when he does it’s usually a big play. He leads the FCS with a 25.9 yards per reception average. (four games) RJ had a 65-yard Touchdown reception today. It was NDSU’s longest play of the year. He has a 47-yard Touchdown reception against Charleston Southern and a 42-yard catch against Eastern Washington on his resume this year.

Aaron Steidl and the Play Of The Game
Defensive Tackle #63 Aaron Steidl with a strip Sack that swung the momentum of the game. The ISU Redbirds were inside the NDSU 10. Steidl made the strip. LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker recovered the fumble. Rather than a Redbird score, the Bison went on a four-play, 92-yard Drive for a Touchdown drive. It sucked all the wind out of Illinois State’s sails. The Redbirds went three-and-out on 5 of its next 7 possessions. NDSU held them scoreless over the last 43 minutes. The Redbirds totaled 37 yards on the ground, and Quarterback #16 Jake Kolbe was Sacked six times.

Jackson Koonce
Punter #19 Jackson Koonce isn’t punting as long as we’re use to. We were spoiled by Ben LeCompte last year. Jackson is a transfer from Southern Methodist University. This year he has punted 21 times. His average is 34.2 yards per punt. NDSU’s lowest since 1992. The good news is he punts high, with a lot of hang time. The Bison coverage team leads the FCS in punt return defense with only one opponent punt returned.. for –4 yards. Fourteen of his punts been Fair Catches, with six inside the 20.


ISU Head Coach, Brock Spack
I’d be happy to comment, that’s one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen. I’m sticking up for our own players now. I mean, how can you blow that call? I’m still mad about it, because I’ve lost games in this league because of those things. Every coach has. That is ridiculous. That is a phantom call. We hit our own player. He was five yards away from any NDSU player. Ran into the back of one of our own players and we get a 15-yard penalty. I don’t get it. It’s just frustrating. Anybody see [it the] way I saw it? We hit our own guy. They called a foul on our guy for hitting our guy!
We had some breakdowns in protection, but sometimes Jake needs to get rid of the ball. We moved the ball pretty well early. We were a little more up-tempo than we’ve been. That seems to fit us.
That’s a big 14-point change. They turn your mistakes into a touchdown, and that’s what really good teams do.. Yeah, we’ve dug ourselves a hole. We’ve had a lot of wins around our program. We’ve done a lot of great things but it’s one of those seasons right now. The only way to get out of it is to keep working.
ISU Quarterback, Jake Kolbe
A terrible decision by me. I’ve just got to throw it away. A very critical mistake. I can’t let that happen again.. We had to throw the ball around more because we were behind. We’ll get better and we’ll be better next week running the ball. It makes it tough when you can’t do both but no matter, we had to throw more because we were behind.
ISU Safety, Alec Kocour
One play can make a lot of difference. It’s been a handful of big plays the last three games.
NDSU Head Coach, Chris Klieman
I was so happy the first half with the big plays we were able to get. Illinois State’s defense is really good. They are a real physical bunch.. The kid [QB #12 Easton Stick is a really good player and he continues to get better.
Our defense, we were on our heels a little bit in the first half, I was so pleased with our defense in the second half.. That turnover was huge.. After we made the big play, I thought our defense played really well. We kept dialing up some different twists.. We rotated an awful lot of guys on the defensive line. I think teams are going to try and throw it against us and spread us out.
NDSU Quarterback Coach, Randy Hedberg
Easton has really progressed in the last month. My hat’s off to him. He has watched so much video and worked so hard and you are seeing the result of that. He is seeing things so well, getting us checked out of one thing and into another, and making all the right decisions.. There’s just more comfort there. He studies so much video during the week that he knew what looks they were giving him. He’s made so much progress. I’m proud of him and how far he’s come. And he’s still a young guy, only a sophomore.
Pantagraph Writer, Randy Reinhardt
Exhibiting every early sign of being both ready and capable of testing the No. 1-ranked North Dakota State football team for 60 minutes, Illinois State fell apart in 13 [minutes on] Saturday at the Fargodome.
Vidette Online Writer, Josh Tolentino
Everyone expected a lot more from an all-senior offensive line (tackles Dan Pawlak and Ryan Gelber, guards Cameron Lee and Kyle Avaloy and center Mark Spelman). Many thought the chemistry and experience between the group would be a strength this season and rightly so after they kicked ass up in Evanston. But five seniors letting their quarterback get hit 17 times in three games — on several occasions blindsided — is unacceptable.

NDSU Individual Stats:


  • QB #12 Easton Stick was 13 for 18, 256 yards; his longest pass was 65 yards, and three touchdowns. Stick also carried six times for 17 net yards. He was named NDSU Player Of The Game.
  • RB #22 King Frazier ran 20 times for 76 net yards. Frazier also caught two balls from 8 yards.
  • RB #10 Lance Dunn carried 14 times for 49 net yards. He also caught a 38-yard touchdown pass.
  • RB #24 Demaris Purifoy ran the ball three times for nine yards.
  • RB #25 Chase Morlock had an eight-yard carry. He also had a 52-yard reception.
  • WR #20 Darrius Shepherd carried once for a 31-yard Touchdown. He caught two balls for 18 yards.
  • WR #16 RJ Urzendowski had a 4-yard run, two catches for 70 yards including a 65-yard touchdown reception.
  • WR #04 Dimitri Williams had a 2-yard run.
  • WR #13 Eric Perkins had a five-yard catch.
  • TE #85 Nate Jenson had two catches for 49 yards and a Touchdown. His longest was 35 yards.
  • TE #87 Connor Wentz had a 12-yard reception.
  • TE #86 Jeff Illies had a four-yard catch.


  • LB #47 Pierre Gee-Tucker had seven tackles including a Tackle For Loss (TFL) for 14 yards. He recovered a Fumble, had one Pass Break Up, and two Quarterback Hurries.
  • LB #41 MJ Stumpf had 7 tackles including a TFL of one-yard.
  • SS #05 Robbie Grimsley had 7 tackles
  • CB #21 Jalen Allison and CB #23 Jaylaan Wimbush each had 6 tackles. Jaylaan had a Pass Breakup.
  • DT #63 Aaron Steidl had 5 tackles including a 4-yard TFL. He also is credited with a Force Fumble.
  • LB #44 Matt Plank had four tackles.
  • CB #35 Dom Davis, LB #45 Levi Jordheim, and DE #93 Jarrod Tuszka each had three tackles. Dom shared a 5-yard TFL. Jarrod had a 13-yard Sack.
  • CB #02 Quinten McCoy, FS #03 Tre Dempsey, DE #95 Caleb Butler, and DE #96 Greg Menard each had 2 tackles. Quinten shared a 4-yard TFL. Tre had a Pass Break Up. Caleb had two Sacks for 15 yards. Greg had a 10-yard Sack.
  • LB #01 Chris Board, CB #09 Marquise Bridges, WR #13 Eric Perkins, SS #38 Jaxon Brown, DE #94 Stanley Jones, DT #99 Nate Tanguay each had a tackle.
  • DE #97 Brad Ambrosius had a Pass Break Up.

Special Teams

  • P #19 Jackson Koonce had six punts for 218 yards, two inside the 20 yard line. His long was 40 yards. Koonce had two kick offs for 120 total yards.
  • K #36 Cam Pedersen made a 47-yard field goal, but missed a 30 yard field goal. Pedersen had four kickoffs for 235 total yards.
  • WR #13 Eric Perkins had two punt returns and two kickoff returns totaling 20 and 51 yards. One was for 26 yards.
  • WR #20 Darrius Shepherd had one punt return for no yards.
  • RB #25 Chase Morlock had a 9-yard kickoff return.

Team Statistics

Game Stats ISU NDSU
Passing Yards 303 256
Rushing Yards 37 194
Total Offensive Yards 340 450
Penalty Yards 2–15 3–15
First Downs 17 20
3rd Downs 3–14 6–15
4th Downs 0–2 1–1
Time Of Possession 23:32 36:28


The Fargo Forum

  • Eric Peterson: Bison defeat Illinois State to start Missouri Valley play in style. With five photos by Dave Wallis.
  • Jeff Kolpack: These are not your Tre Roberson Redbirds.
  • Mike McFeely : Carson Wentz says hello to 8-year-old in the Fargodome.
  • Mike McFeely : With Wentz looking on, Stick owns the day.
  • Chris Murphy: Former NFL and NDSU linebacker Mays makes first trip to Fargo since 2009.
  • Chris Murphy: Former NDSU and current Eagles teammate Smith not surprised by Wentz.
  • Photo Gallery: by Dave Wallis.

NDSU Media

Opponent Media

Stream the game from KVLY and the NBC North Dakota Sports Network on YouTube.com. I noticed a number of plays are missing from this video.


NDSU vs ISU 31 to 10

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