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My Thoughts On NDSU's 52-14 Victory Over The University of New Hampshire

by Dan Gunderson

Pre-Game

· Tailgating crowd was energetic before game. Not surprised. Last home game of the season before (Possibly) Frisco.

· I am amazed that NDSU fans think this one is going to be a blow out. I understand confidence but I am hearing NDSU winning by 30 or so from a lot of fans. I think that is a little crazy.

· Loudest pre-game cheer I have heard this season. Senior LB Grant Olson was behind head coach Craig Bohl as Bohl led the team out onto the field. I don’t think Olson will see the field, however. Just the fact he is in jersey should be motivation enough for these players.

First Quarter

· Not even a minute and a half into the game and NDSU QB Brock Jensen throws a pick six. He threw one in last year’s playoffs against Wofford College. That was the only score the Terriers had in that game.

· On the next possession, NDSU RB Sam Ojuri puts the ball on the turf. UNH recovers and NDSU has back-to-back possessions with turnovers.

· NDSU defense with a hold against UNH. UNH did not attempt a field goal on a fourth and five. Their kicker, Mike MacArthur is 15-20 so far this season but missed two field goals last week within 30 yards.

· Grant Olson actually is playing. I am shocked. Out there for back-to-back plays. Figured he wouldn’t see the field. Doesn’t look comfortable out there though.

· Jensen hit WR Zach Vraa for a 50 yard touchdown throw. I said this earlier this week but I thought Vraa deserved more attention for his season. All he has done this season is catch touchdowns. Now with 14 touchdowns on the season.

· At the end of the first quarter, NDSU had 82 yards rushing and 78 yards passing. If not for the Jensen pick, this game might be at 14-0 Bison.

Second Quarter

· NDSU cannot convert on third and four pass from Jensen to Vraa in the end zone. Settle for 32-yard field goal from Adam Keller. NDSU at least has confidence in their special teams.

· It is becoming quite obvious that UNH and this offense cannot run with their running back against the NDSU offense. The Wildcats will have to hope they can at least move the ball through the air.

· I think people might look at this first half and feel as if NDSU struggled because of pick six but in reality NDSU has dominated from the start.

· Crazy play on offense for the Bison. Derrick Lang came out of the back field on a wheel route and Jensen hit him for the touchdown. Almost over threw him, however. Would have looked really bad if he had since Kevin Vaadeland was wide open in the end zone.

· NDSU defense just dominating the Wildcats. UNH cannot move the ball anywhere. I’m not entirely surprised but it just goes to show how good this team is.

· Great sequence of plays. UNH QB Sean Goldrich was trying to audible at the line. He had to hurry the play up because play clock was getting low. In the haste, Goldrich never got control of the ball and fumbled. Senior defensive line Leevon Perry kicks loose ball towards end zone, then picks it up at the six and scores the defensive touchdown. You know that it is your day if those things are happening.

· NDSU gets the ball with 4:38 to go in the first half and takes just over two minutes to score touchdown when Jensen hits Vaadeland for a 20 yard touchdown score.

· Bison go into the locker room up 31-7. They out gained UNH 319 to 61 in total yards in the first half.

Third Quarter

· NDSU gave UNH a couple extra chances on their opening offensive possession of the second half. However, UNH turned it over when Goldrich threw a pick to safety Christian Dudzik. That is Dudzik’s sixth pick of the season and third of the playoffs.

· NDSU running back John Crockett having some big runs in this game. Ripped off a 40 yarder in the first half and just ripped off a 71 yarder on his first carry of the half.

· Brock Jensen goes in for the running touchdown, his ninth of the season. That puts him over 40 total touchdowns on the season. Insane to think that he is only a third team All-American.

· NDSU comes up with another interception, this one from Bryan Shepherd, who returns it to the UNH 9 yard line.

· Sam Ojuri, on the very next play, runs it in for the score. Ojuri now with nine rushing touchdowns of his own. NDSU now has 30 rushing touchdowns as a team this season.


· Tonight’s attendance of 18,694 is the largest crowd for a home playoff game in the last four seasons.

· NDSU has only allowed UNH past the 50 yard line once in this game and that came on the fumble recovery.

· It took UNH until the last minute of the third quarter to get over 100 yards of offense. NDSU has 442 total yards of offense, including 296 yards rushing.

Fourth Quarter

· I predicted that all the seniors would be taken off one-by-one to the applause of the crowd in the fourth quarter. I was correct as Jensen and offensive lineman Billy Turner came off to the loudest applause.

· Most of the fans left in the Fargodome entertained themselves with the wave.

· NDSU’s Chase Morlock, a guy who will see a lot more action in the next three seasons, with a touchdown. If Morlock becomes feature back as junior and senior, expect same kind of fanfare that Tyler Roehl received as a running back for NDSU.

· The Bison just put up 52 points on UNH, the most points they’ve scored in their playoff history. Think of how successful this team has been historically and now think of the fact that 52 is a playoff record for them. Impressive.

· NDSU did a pretty cool thing by putting an all senior defense out there on the field. They then called a timeout and allowed the crowd to acknowledge the seniors.

· NDSU is going to allow less than 200 yards of total offense to UNH while racking up over 500 of their own.

· UNH runs into end zone for the touchdown late. First fourth quarter points allowed by NDSU since the homecoming game against Missouri State University.

· NDSU wins this game 52-14. The move to 14-0 on the seasons and will play the winner of the Eastern Washington/Towson FCS Semi-Final in the National Championship game on January 4th in Frisco, Texas.

Post-Game

· NDSU head coach had some interesting things to say about the seniors and who recruited them. He mentioned the fact that Brent Vigen recruited Marcus Williams, Grant Olson, John Crockett and several others individually. It seemed odd to me that he would point out Vigen and players names specifically.

· New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell talked about his decision to go for it on fourth down play with the ball inside the NDSU 25 yard line early in the first quarter. Said he felt that he tonight was a night he needed seven instead of three. Looking at the score now, who knows, but he felt that at the time it was the right decision.

· Brock Jensen was highly emotional when talking about his four years with NDSU and especially games played at home. He was grateful and said it was the greatest four years of his life.

· The four players that came in for interviews for NDSU, John Crockett, Brock Jensen, Cole Jirik and Leevon Perry, all were asked the question about who they would prefer to play in Frisco on January 4th. Crockett, Jirik and Perry said it did not matter. Jensen, however, smiled and said he knew that question was coming. He said that it didn’t matter who they played and he would be happy either way. However, if it was Eastern Washington, he would be a little bit happier.

· I don’t think I need to remind those who read this why it would make Jensen happier to face EWU.

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.