The Bison take care of UNI, turn their attention to Illinois State
The North Dakota State football team picked up a 34-20 victory over Northern Iowa on Homecoming weekend. After a big win in Grand Forks the week before, it was good to see that the Bison remained locked in and didn’t have a letdown performance.
The Herd took an early lead after an 85-yard touchdown pass from Quincy Patterson to Christian Watson put NDSU up 7-0.
After a 10-0 run in the second quarter by the Panthers, NDSU kicked a field goal to take a 13-10 lead into halftime.
The Bison broke the game open in the third quarter, scoring two touchdowns in the quarter to put the game out of reach.
Offensively, the Herd had a balanced attack, passing for 182 yards and rushing for 181 yards. Patterson was the star of the show, accounting for all four NDSU touchdowns. He finished the game completing 11-21 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, he had a team-high 60 yards on the ground to go along with two rushing touchdowns.
Watson had a huge day for the green and yellow as well, racking up 163 of the Bison’s 181 receiving yards.
While the offense had their moments, head coach Matt Entz would still like to see better execution in the red zone from this squad.
“At halftime that was the one thing I talked to our team about. We’re just not consistent in the red zone. Field goals are great, you know, but we were in there — what was it — three times. Man, just how different the game could be if you’re able to capitalize two out of the three with touchdowns.”
Defensively, the Bison defensive line wreaked havoc with five sacks for the game. They also forced three fumbles, while recovering two of them.
Entz credited his coaching staff for being able to develop players on the defensive line and how lucky the program is to have them.
“I think coach Buddha, coach Goeser, we have two of the best D-line coaches in the country. Not just one, but two. I think the fact that we have two coaches that coach those four tells you the importance that that room has, or those two rooms have in our program.”
Up next for the Bison, they head to Normal, Ill. to take on Illinois State. After back-to-back big wins over ranked opponents, it will be key for NDSU to not overlook Illinois State and take care of business.