FARGO, N.D. – Brock Jensen accounted for three touchdowns, and North Dakota State’s defense pitched a shutout against one of the top quarterbacks in the country for a 24-0 victory Saturday against Lehigh in a Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal.
Sam Ojuri rushed for 136 yards to lead the No. 2 seed Bison (12-1), who will face third-seeded Georgia Southern next weekend in Fargo.
NDSU coach Craig Bohl credited his team’s blitzing defense and a noisy crowd of more than 18,000 fans at the Fargodome for holding down Lehigh’s Chris Lum, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the top FCS player. Lum completed 25 of 52 passes for 288 yards and two interceptions.
“We were hitting and hitting and hitting. That really takes a quarterback out of his rhythm,” Bohl said.
Lum said he never felt comfortable in the pocket.
“It’s just a really good defense that threw everything at us,” Lum said. “We moved the ball at times but didn’t finish.”
Jensen scored on a pair of 1-yard sneaks, the last of which capped a 16-play, 80-yard drive to give the Bison a 24-0 lead with 7:23 left. He found Warren Holloway for a 38-yard score in the second quarter.
The Bison had an 11-play, 97-yard drive in the second quarter.
“It wasn’t one of our cleanest games,” said Bohl, noting that the Bison had three turnovers. “But we played hard.”
Lehigh had a chance to make it interesting late in the third quarter. Trailing 17-0, Lum drove Lehigh from its own 20 to the NDSU 11. The Mountain Hawks then put backup quarterback Michael Colvin in the game, and Colvin was intercepted by Preston Evans in the end zone.
Lehigh coach Andy Coen said Colvin is a talented runner who has been used regularly in goal-line situations.
“He was trying to make a play. That’s what happens when you’re down 17-0,” Coen said.
Lehigh (11-2) played without top receiver Ryan Spadola, who was suspended earlier this week, and top running back Zach Barket, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury three games ago.
“He’s a great player,” Lum said of Spadola. “During the game I’m not thinking about that at all. We had some other guys step up and play well.”
Ryan Jastram kicked a 31-yard field goal just before halftime to give the Bison a 17-0 lead at the half.
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