« NDSU Bison

Thoughts on North Dakota State University's 24-23 Victory Over the University of Northern Iowa

by Dan Gunderson

Pre-Game

  • Flat tire, broken computer charger and rain. Man. I'm afraid of today.

  • The crowd was INSANELY loud to open things up here today.
  • Like UNI's uniform. Matte finish on the purple helmets and the black pants with the white jersey's.
  • Matt Veldman and NDSU men's head basketball coach Saul Phillips right below. Gentlemen, you couldn't get better seats?
  • Jesse Hinz in for Josh Colville at center for the Bison. 

First Quarter

  • Marcus Williams fumbles on opening kick-off return. Not a good start for the Bison.
  • Defense holds with the aid of this amped up crowd. UNI kicks a 37-yard field goal, which Tyler Sievertsen knocks through with no problem.
  • UNI Defense is fast. That is all.
  • Brock Jensen has a nice 1st down run on third but it is negated due to holding on Jesse Hinz.
  • Also appears that Tyler Gimmestad is out on the line. Not good.
  • UNI offense can't move the ball against NDSU "D". This is going to be a defensive struggle, field position type of game.
  • False start on Jake Plankers, who is replacing Tyler Gimmestad today.
  • Billy Turner false start. That is now three penalties in two offensive drives on the o-line. Ugly.
  • Kevin Vereen Jr. Can catch the ball. One-handed snag on the sidelines. Impressive.
  • Student section seems a little lacking today. Some empty seats in the Southwest corner.
  • UNI's Tyler Sievertsen knocks in a career long 50-yard field goal. 6-0 now for the Panthers with 5:13 to go in the first quarter.
  • At this point, the game is a field position battle being one by UNI. NDSU needs to come up with something big. Maybe, the screen play?
  • The one thing that has plagued Jensen throughout his career is overthrowing receivers. He is running into that problem today.
  • Huge punt by Ben LeCompte leads to the flipping of the field for NDSU.
  • Crowd involvement is so key in this game. Have caused one false start and now a charged TO to UNI to avoid the delay of game. Impressive.
  • After the TO, UNI couldn't get a play off in time. It was after the penalty that it got interesting. UNI huddled up on the sidelines and Bohl was not impressed. I'm not sure what the rules are for that but I can't imagine that it is okay to huddle up on the sidelines w/o a timeout.
  • 6-0 at the end of 1. Still anybodies game at this point but I would say momentum still on UNI's sidelines.
Second Quarter
  • David Johnson with an 85-yard touchdown run. Most frustrating part about that run is NDSU had him in the backfield for a loss but poor tackling led to that run. That sentence has rarely been written in 2 plus years about the NDSU defense.
  • NDSU offense looked like they had some rhythm and then nothing. They are just out of sorts today.
  • Ben LeCompte, team MVP to this point, pins UNI deep at their own 2-yard line.
  • Third and ten and a first down for UNI from their own 2. Of course, the gift spot from the side judge help. Merry Christmas you filthy animal.
  • NDSU holds, and gets the ball back offensively.
  • My boy, Carey Woods, with a 23-yard TD catch and the Bison are right back in this one.
  • Funny thing on that play, not one official signaled TD. I suppose they just assumed everybody in the building knew what happen. 
  • With that touchdown, NDSU is right back in this.
  • Christian Dudzik drops sure pick. Could have been a pick six.
  •  The end of the second quarter was pretty lackluster. Neither team doing much offensively. End of the half has NDSU trailing UNI 13-7.
  • NDSU running the ball really well at this point. The Bison have 103 yards on the ground at the half with Crockett leading the way with 63 yards.
Third Quarter
  • NDSU opens up with great defense. Three and out. Vintage NDSU Defense.
  • Opening drive of the second half for NDSU is pretty standard too. Tough, grind it out, third down conversions type of drive. Impressive.
  • Drive stalls after 12 plays and 44 yards. Adam Keller knocks in a 28-yard field goal and Bison down just 3 at 13-10.
  • The more this game continues, the more frustration you see for UNI on offense. Can't move the ball unless helped out by a penalty.
  • Speaking of, CJ Smith called for defensive holding. Like the call because he pushed the guy out of bounds and the official needed to throw something.
  • And now, David Johnson starting to move the ball in big chunks. Not good. 
  • Kevin Vereen Jr. out jumps Marcus Williams, if you call that a jump by Williams, for the touchdown. UNI now up 20-10.
  • On that last drive, NDSU was destroyed by Johnson both through the run and through the air. Had a nice run after the catch. Dual threat RB's are tough man. So tough.
  • NDSU takes out Marcus Williams and lets Christian Dudzik return a kick. Dudzik fumbles the ball. He and his hands are having issues today.
  • UNI converts turnover into 3 points, making it 23-10 UNI. Game still not out of reach but NDSU needs to have their offense find the field here.
  • NDSU now has used four different kick returners today. Christian Dudzik, Marcus Williams, Ryan Smith and John Crockett.
  • Tyler Gimmestad comes into the game after Jack Plankers injuries his knee. Gimmestad didn't start this game because of an injury.
  • Brock Jensen has looked bad today. Overthrowing, missing wide open guys and skipping the ball to receivers. It has not been pretty.
Fourth Quarter
  • NDSU forces a punt. Now would be the time for Brock Jensen to stop being bad at start being good.
  • A reminder: NDSU used the hurry up offense for about two minutes against Delaware State a couple weeks back. Not out of the realm of possibilities here.
  • John Crockett has been pretty solid today. I have always liked Crockett and really wish he would get more carries. I understand that NDSU is a two-back offense but he has so much talent. Guy was recruited by Big 10 schools. I think he deserves at least 20 carries a game. If not more.
  • NDSU has to convert on fourth down but they come up with a big TD. Jensen finds Vraa on nice pass for the score.
  • On the TD pass, UNI sold out on blitz. Left Vraa in one-on-one coverage. If UNI loses this game, you can go back to that play call and ask if it really was worth it to bring pressure.
  • Marcus Williams gets beat on a big third down play. I had a friend tell me the other week he felt that Williams was getting beat a lot this year. I defended Williams but today, he has been abused.
  • UNI QB Sawyer Kollmorgen has been thrown around the Fargodome like a rag doll today.
  • Also, haven't seen David Johnson since his long run after the catch in the third quarter.
  • A personal foul, hands to the face penalty continues all important fourth quarter drive.
  • A lot of things going on in this drive so far. John Crockett not in on the drive and NDSU seems content with running the ball.
  • Jake Farley, the son of UNI head coach Mark Farley, down on the ground and it doesn't look good. They go out and are having to get the cart.
  • Looks like a broken leg for Farley. With 4:52 to go and NDSU facing a third and six, Jensen runs for the first down. No holding this time.
  • I feel more nervous about this fourth quarter drive than I did when NDSU was driving against K-State in the fourth.
  • I guess no need to worry. Sam Ojuri punches it in from 19 yards out. Keller converts and NDSU is up 24-23. Still 2:52 to go though.
  • NDSU holds on "D" and UNI decides to punt. I'm not a fan of this call because you're saying your "D" will stop NDSU without your best linebacker.
  • First play for NDSU on offense and Sam Ojuri goes for a big first down into UNI territory. UNI hangs on to timeouts.
  • UNI stands, stops NDSU on a fourth and one. UNI, with just over a minute to go, just needs a field goal to win.
  • Third down interception from CJ Smith ends this one. Smith has had a much better game than Williams. 
  • NDSU will win this game 24-23. They will move to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Missouri Valley. UNI will drop to 4-1 overall and 0-1 in the Valley. Great game. One of the best I have ever seen in person.
Post-Game
  • It was a decision made by head coach Craig Bohl to go for it on fourth and one in the fourth quarter. Said that kicking a field goal was too much of a risk considering how good UNI is at blocking kicks.
  • David Johnson said he hurt his hip after a long pass reception. Tried to come back in the game but didn't feel he was able to perform physically.
  • NDSU dominated in TOP at 37:25, held UNI to 2 of 14 on third down and had 79 plays on offense to UNI's 60.
  • Through five games, NDSU has still not allowed a point in the fourth quarter.
  • It looks like Jack Planers may have strained his MCL. Bohl was pretty much at a loss for words describing the effort by Gimmestad.
  • Josh Colville didn't play because he was involved in an accident on Friday night. Had a cut over his eye and concussion like symptoms.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called “The Pinto and White Shadow Show.” Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.