« NDSU Bison

My Thoughts On NDSU's 34-14 Victory Over Iowa State University

by Dan Gunderson

First Quarter

  • NDSU won the coin toss but deferred to the second half. I was surprised by that. I figured they would take the ball to open up the game.
  • The Bison defense was not ready for the Cyclones' quick attack offense. ISU moved up the field with much resistance, throwing for 27 yards and rushing for 40.
  • The drive was aided by a questionable passing interference call on Colten Heagle. Felt that Heagle's dive for the ball should have been nothing if not a good effort on his part.
  • Aaron Wimberly capped off the impressive drive for the Cyclones with a 16-yard touchdown rush.
  • The opening drive for the Bison offense was ugly. There was a fumbled snap and NDSU had to call a timeout to avoid the delay of game penalty.
  • The Bison got a big break on a third and four play. Carson Wentz tried to hit Jeff Illies over the middle for a first down but Illies dropped the pass. As the ball went out of Illies hands, Iowa State safety Kamari Cotton-Moya hit Illies on his way to the ground. Cotton-Moya was called with targeting, which is a personal foul and an ejection from the game, pending on a review. After the review, the penalty was upheld and Cotton-Moya was ejected.
  • On a third and nine, Wentz did a solid job of moving up in the pocket and finding his tight end Kevin Vaadeland for a first down completion. He did another great job on third and five, completing a first down pass to Zach Vraa. In both completions, Wentz showed great composure.
  • The Bison drive sputtered after Wentz and the offense was called for a delay of game penalty and followed that up with a sack back at the ISU 48-yard line. The delay of game took them out of field go range and sack just gave them more room to punt.
  • If there was a luck (bad term but what else would you call it?) factor, NDSU was winning there. Quenton Bundrage, a starting wide out for ISU, went down early in the quarter with an apparent knee injury. The Cyclones also lost center Tom Farniok when Kyle Emanuel was trailing the play and he ran into Farniok's knee, causing it to buckle. Three players out for ISU early on in the game.
  • NDSU finally got a defensive stand when ISU tried a screen behind the line of scrimmage. NDSU defensive end Mike Hardie red the play perfectly, making sure ISU could not move the ball.

Second Quarter

  • The NDSU defense did not start out so hot in the second half either, allowing the Cyclones to go down and score a touchdown in three plays. ISU covered the 51 yards in 36 seconds, helped out by a 48-yard connection between quarterback Sam Richardson and wide out Allen Lazard.
  • Wimberly ran in a touchdown from three yards out, giving his team a 14-0 lead. Doesn't look good for NDSU at this point.
  • JOHN CROCKETT!!! This guy is going to have a huge year and that 80-yard run for a touchdown might be his signature highlight. Great cut to spring him for the big time TD. This might be the momentum changer NDSU needed.
  • Defense with the stand. That touchdown helped swing the momentum for the entire team.
  • The Bison offensive drive has been quiet, but strong. Nothing big but consistent.
  • Wentz shows off his strong arm with a big time throw to Vraa for a 44-yard completion to the one yard line. Crockett runs it in a couple plays later. Bison have tied this one up. What a turnaround for NDSU.
  • NDSU comes up with a big turnover on the tip drill. Senior linebacker Travis Beck deflects the pass that lands in Dudzik's hands and NDSU has completely dominated this second half.
  • Bison offense stalls at the goal line but are still able to get three out of the turnover. Adam Keller sends the Bison into the half with a 17-14 lead at the half.
  • On that last drive, I like the play call to go for three instead of a touchdown. Even though NDSU had a timeout left and they were on the ISU 1-yard line, you never know what could happen in that time span. Take the for sure points, especially if you know you are going to get the ball to start the third quarter with the ball.

Third Quarter

  • The Bison and Cyclones trade offensive drives with little production from either side.
  • Bison are putting together another strong, typical Bison like drive. Taking up a ton of time in this third quarter.
  • How about that hurdle?!?! Wentz showing theathleticismthat people were raving about during FallCamp.
  • Bison drive stalls inside the 10 yard line, have to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Keller. NDSU now up 20-14.
  • I'm not impressed with that set of play calling by Tim Polasek. You have to run the ball inside the 10-yard line, especially when you have Crockett back there. At least they ended up with points.
  • Now we see Heagle get into the turnover game with a pick off a deflection. This is starting to get ugly.
  • Another strong drive and capped off with a three yard touchdown run from Crockett. 27-14 Bison. I knew NDSU had a shot at winning this game. I had no idea they would come out and put the hurt on ISU like this.
  • NDSU absolutely dominated that third quarter. I would love to see the Time of Possession on that quarter. Had to be nine or 10 minutes worth of NDSU holding on to the ball.

Fourth Quarter

  • My word. This game is starting to feel like every. Single. Game in 2013. NDSU would trade jabs with a team in the first half and then knock them out in the second half.
  • Bison could not do much on their first drive of the second half. They moved the ball and ate up time but could not totally put this one away.
  • It looked as if John Crockett had just put the Cyclones on ice with a long TD run, however, a questionable holding call on Jesse Hinz brought the ball back. Hinz dove at a defender to set the block and as the defender was trying to break free, his leg got caught in Hinz's arm. Not a hold.
  • I guess it didn't matter. Sophomore Chase Morlock with a 66-yard TD run. The no-doubt-about-it dagger for the Bison. This. One. Is. Over. 34-14 Bison with the lead.
  • A couple of unimportant drives from both teams the Bison end the game with a dominating second half performance over ISU. Bison win 34-14.

Post-Game

  • John Crockett: 18 Carriers 141 Yards Rushing 3 Touchdowns
  • Carson Wentz: 18/28, 204 Yards Passing
  • Zach Vraa: 7 Receptions 82 Yards Receiving
  • Bison with 503 yards of total offense.
  • John Crockett would have had well over 200 yards and four scores had it not been for a questionable call. All in all, great performance to start out the 2014 campaign.
  • Wentz was solid, not spectacular, but solid. Made great decisions. When you look at his line compared with Sam Richardson for ISU, you notice the difference in play. Richardson threw two picks, Wentz didn't throw one.
  • Chase Morlock went for 81 yards and a score on six carriers. It looks as if Morlock bulked up over the summer/fall.
  • NDSU now moves on to take on Weber State University, a Big Sky team, next week in Ogden, Utah. The Wildcats lost to Arizona State this past Thursday 45-14. WSU is not that good.
  • The 25th consecutive victory sets a new FCS record for consecutive victories. Don't expect NDSU's next challenge to come until Montana shows up at the Fargdome on September 20th.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly sports talk show on 740 The Fan and 740thefan.com called Fan Sports Saturday from 8-10 a.m. Pinto is a radio producer and talk show host within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.