This Friday will be the last game in the Fargodome for the 24 seniors, head coach Craig Bohl and a majority of his staff. The Bison will take on the University of New Hampshire in the Semi-Finals of the FCS Playoffs.
Going back to 2010, when several of these seniors started to have an impact on the program, the Bison have gone 30-3 at home, including 8-0 so far this season. They last time they lost at home was against Indiana State University on October, 13 of 2012.
I have went back and poured through the stats, tapes (not really but it sounds good) and scores of these games to give you the top three games for these seniors in the Fargodome.
3. NDSU 43 Robert Morris 17 11/27/2010
This game was the first time NDSU had ever played a playoff game at the Fargodome. The Colonials were actually up at halftime but NDSU dominated the second half on their way to the victory.
While this game wasn’t a sell-out, it fell on the week of Thanksgiving, it was the first of 10 home playoff games the Bison have had in the last four seasons. It also served as an introduction to players that would be having a major impact on the program for years to come.
In the game, Brock Jensen threw for 229 yards and scored three times. You also had Colten Heagle and Grant Olson combine for 18 tackles, five tackles for a loss and one forced fumble.
2. NDSU 27 University of Northern Iowa 19 10/29/2011
Many people point to this game as the arrival of NDSU as a premiere program at the FCS level. While the year prior NDSU had enjoyed a nice run to the FCS Quarterfinals, the Bison still were in search of that signature win over the Valley’s best team, the UNI Panthers.
The crowd was electric for the late season matchup that would ultimately decide the Missouri Valley regular season title. The game hung in the balance until late in the third quarter when defensive end Kyle Emanuel came up with a fumble at the UNI three and dove into the end zone for a defensive touchdown.
Jensen completed 22 of his 25 passes for 204 yards and a score in that game. Bryan Shepherd led the team with seven tackles while Travis Beck had a forced fumble and a tackle for a loss in only the second start of his career.
1. NDSU 23 Georgia Southern 20 12/14/2012
The Eagles came into the game looking for revenge after losing last season in the FCS Semi-Finals 35-7. Their vaunted triple option offense was running at full steam with quarterback Jerick McKinnon running the show.
It was a Friday night, primetime game that didn’t disappoint as both teams traded blows to the very end. McKinnon would run into the end zone 5:02 to go in the third quarter to give GSU the 20-16 lead.
With 5:49 left to go in the game, NDSU would get the ball at their 47 yard line and put together one of the most memorable drives in school history. On a fourth and three from the GSU five yard line, teams traded timeouts to set up the play of the game.
Jensen ended up keeping the ball and running over defenders into the end zone for the winning score. NDSU would win the game 23-20 and punch their ticket to Frisco, TX for their second straight title game.
The list is arbitrary, of course, but one that gives you an idea of how many big games NDSU has played in the Fargodome with this group of seniors and how many times the team has come out on top. They will be looking for just one more win on Friday night.
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.