THIS WEEK: The fifth-ranked North Dakota State football team is back on the road this week when the Bison (8-1, 5-1 MVFC) take on Youngstown State (2-6, 1 -5 MVFC) during the Missouri Valley Football Conference game. the week. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. ET at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio. NDSU is looking to rebound from a 27-19 loss at South Dakota State, while Youngstown State is coming off a 24-21 loss at North Dakota.
TELEVISION: It’s the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s Game of the Week and will be available exclusively to ESPN+ subscribers on ESPN.com and the ESPN app. Lane creak and Adam Seidel will call the game with the reporter Kelly Burk. WDAY television coverage on ABC will return next week against South Dakota.
RADIO: Coverage begins at 10 a.m. CT on the Peterson Farms Seed Bison Radio Network, including Bison 1660 and 107.9 The Fox in Fargo featuring jeff culhane (game by game), Phil Hansen (analyst) and Cole Jirick (sideline). Expanded coverage locally on Bison 1660 and 92.7 FM includes “Bison Tailgate” from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., “Bison Game Day” from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and the call-in show “Bison Hotline” after the network airs.
IN LINE: NDSU All Access offers subscription video streaming for home games and free audio streams for all NDSU football games through GoBison.com/allaccess and the NDSU Athletics mobile app. Live game stats will be available on YSUSports.com. Follow game updates on Twitter @NDSUfootball.
THE SERIES: This is the 16th meeting between North Dakota State and Youngstown State. NDSU has won nine straight to take an 11-4 lead in the all-time series dating back to 1972. The Bison have won their last five trips to Youngstown, including a Stambaugh Stadium opponent, record 56 points in their 56-17 victory in November 2019.
THE LAST MEETING: NDSU and Youngstown State met in the opener of the 2021 spring conference schedule with the Bison winning 25-7 at the Fargodome. Kobe Johnson rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown and Jalen Bussey added 43 yards and two touchdowns. jackson hankey had a record 14 tackles and James Kaczor had 11 saves as the Bison beat the Penguins 317-171 in total yards.
BOUNCE: North Dakota State is looking to rebound from its first loss of the season this week at Youngstown State. NDSU hasn’t lost a game in a row since a five-game losing streak midway through the 2009 season. The Bison rebounded from a road loss at Southern Illinois last spring with a 25-0 win at Missouri State. NDSU hasn’t lost back-to-back road trips since starting 0-2 in 2009 with losses to Iowa State (34-17) and Sam Houston (48-45).
TITLE SPEECH: North Dakota State needs a win in its last two games to claim at least a share of its 10th Missouri Valley Football Conference championship. With two wins, NDSU can clinch the title and claim automatic league qualification for the FCS playoffs. The Bison won nine consecutive conference titles from 2011 to 2019, including five in total (2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019).
PLAYOFF POSITION: North Dakota State may still be in a position to earn a top-two seed for the NCAA playoffs and home-court advantage through to the semifinals. The NDSU won the No. 1 seed with one-loss teams in 2012 and 2016, and the Bison were the No. 2 seed with one-loss teams in 2011, 2014 and 2017. The State of North Dakota has been a top-two seed for 8 of 11 FCS playoff appearances. The Bison were ranked third in 2015 and unranked in 2010 and 2020.
AGAINST PENGUINS: To recover Kobe Johnson has 367 all-around yards and an average of 14.1 yards per touch in two career games against Youngstown State. Johnson had a 75-yard touchdown rush and finished with 103 yards on six carries in 2019 plus a 94-yard return touchdown and 138 total return yards. Johnson’s 114 rushing yards last February was a career high until his 155-yard game two weeks ago against Indiana State.
VOLSON VETERAN: offensive lineman Cordell Volson will become the eighth NDSU player to play in his 60th career game this week at Youngstown State. The NCAA record is 62 games played by Pierre Banks of Appalachia State (2004-2008), while NDSU defensive back Christian Dudzik is the NCAA record holder for games started. Dudzik started all 61 games in his career from 2011 to 2014, including one game at both safety and wide receiver.
NDSU career games played
61 – Christian Dudzik, CB/S (61 starts, 2011-14)
61 – Kyle Emanuel, DE (50 starts, 2011-14)
61 – Andrew Bonnet, FB (29 starts, 2012-15)
61 – Ben LeCompte, P (0 starts, 2012-15)
60 – Joe Haeg, OT (60 starts, 2012-15)
60 – RJ Urzendowski, WR (39 starts, 2014-17)
60 – James Fisher, LS (0 starts, 2014-17)
WATSON IS NEARING 2,000: Senior wide receiver Christian Watson is approaching the 2,000-yard mark, which only seven other NDSU players have reached in program history. Watson currently ranks eighth all-time at NDSU with 1,927 career receiving yards, 305 yards shy of seventh place. Warren Holloway (2008-11). His average of 21.18 yards per catch ranks fourth in school history.
Active MVFC Career Leaders, Receiving Yards
2,559 – Landon Lenoir, UIS
2321 – Isaiah Weston, UNI
2268 – Jorge Portoreal, YSU
2182 – Jacob Richter, UND
2177 – Dennis Houston, WIU
1999 – Daniel Bender, WIU
1,927 – Christian WatsonNDSU
REINHOLZ CRACKS THE TOP 10: senior kicker Jake Reinholz kicked his 17th career field goal last week at South Dakota State, which propelled him to 10th place on the NDSU’s all-time list for field goals made ( 17 for 22). Reinholz is 11 of 14 this year, including 5 for 8 for 40+ yards and has made seven straight attempts. Reinholz is also 58 for 58 on PAT kicks in his career.
100 YARD RUNNERS: South Dakota State running back Peter StrongLast week’s 156-yard performance was his third 100-yard rushing game against NDSU since the 2018 semifinals played at Fargo. In that 37-game stretch, only five other players rushed for 100 yards against NDSU. Strong currently ranks first in the FCS with an average of 126.9 rushing yards per game.
ANOTHER BIG BACK: The North Dakota State defense will face the fifth-ranked FCS rusher this week. Youngstown State Jaleel McLaughlin is averaging 112.8 yards per game and has five 100-yard games this fall, including a season-high 29 carries and 242 yards in an overtime win over Incarnate Word. McLaughlin is the active all-division NCAA leader with 6,341 career rushing yards. He rushed eight times for 19 yards against NDSU in his Youngstown State debut last spring after transferring from Division II Notre Dame College.
HISTORICAL RHYTHM: North Dakota State has allowed FCS 10 touchdowns this year and leads the FCS in scoring defense allowing 10.2 points per game. It’s the best scoring defense in NDSU’s 18 seasons as a Division I program, topping the 2013 National Championship team’s 11.3 points per game. Only Georgia allows fewer points (6.6 points per game) this year in Division I.