By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The No. 5 South Dakota State Jackrabbits will face the No. 1 North Dakota State Bison on Friday night. The game will kick off at 7 pm on ESPN2 in the FCS Playoff Semifinal at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota.
The winner of this game will advance to the FCS National Championship game on January 5th, 2019 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. They will face the winner of Saturday’s game featuring No. 7 Maine Black Bears (10-3), and No. 3 Eastern Washington Eagles 11-2)
The Jackrabbits are brining a 10-2 record into this Top 5 matchup. The Bison are undefeated with a 13-0 record.
South Dakota State is 8-7 all-time in the FCS playoffs. North Dakota State is 30-2 in the FCS playoffs.
In addition, the Bison leads the all-time series 61-42-5. On September 29th, the Bison defeated then-No. 3 Jackrabbits with a 21-17 score at the Fargodome for the Dakota Marker.
According to the North Dakota State game notes, the Bison will wear their alternate gold jersey and their green “Harvest Helmet.” This is the second-time they have worn this combination all season. They are 28-0 with the gold jersey since the 2011 season opener. In addition, they are 12-0 with the green helmets.
The game with the Jackrabbits was their closest game of the season. All of the Bison’s remaining games were won by double-digits.
North Dakota State’s lowest scoring game of the season was 17 points against the Youngstown State Penguins on November 3rd in the Harvest Bowl.
Outside of the South Dakota State game, the Bison has outscored their other opponents 519-127. Then-No. 22 Northern Iowa Panthers scored the most points against the Bison defense with 31 on October 6th.
The Bison has won 19 straight games. They have not lost since November 4th, 2017 when they were defeated by the Jackrabbits 33-21 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, South Dakota.
The Jackrabbits are on a six-game win streak. They have not lost since October 20th, 2018 when they were defeated by the Panthers, 24-9.
North Dakota State is averaging 41.5 points per game. Their defense is allowing 11.1 points per contest.
They are averaging 460 yards per game. Their defense is allowing 278.8 yards per game to their opponents.
Bison quarterback Easton Stick has gone 150 of 247 for 2,385 passing yards in 13 games. He also has 25 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Bruce Anderson leads the backs with 115 carries for 845 yards and seven touchdowns. Darrius Shepherd leads the receivers with 53 receptions for 869 yards and seven touchdowns.
South Dakota State is averaging 44.3 points per game. Their defense is allowing 20.5 points per game.
The Jackrabbits offense is averaging 490.8 yards per contest. Their defense is allowing the opposing offense 367.2 yards per game.
Jackrabbits quarterback Taryn Christion has gone 187 of 314 for 2,840 passing yards in 12 games. He has 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Kanin Nelson has gone 6 of 8 for 145 yards in seven games. He also has two touchdowns.
Justin Roberts has gone 2 of 2 for 89 yards in one game. He also has a touchdown
Pierre Strong leads the backs with 97 carries for 981 yards and 10 touchdowns. Cade Johnson leads the receivers with 64 receptions for 1,243 yards and 16 touchdowns.
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