How No. 12 South Dakota State upset No. 2 North Dakota State
No. 12 South Dakota State handed No. 2 North Dakota State its first loss, winning 27-19 to take home the 2021 Dakota Marker.
The top-15 Missouri Valley matchup started with a bang as All-American running back Pierre Strong Jr. burst up the right sideline for a 75-yard score just two plays into the game. North Dakota State would answer with a score of its own to tie the game 7-7, but the Jackrabbits responded by scoring 20 unanswered points. The 20 point lead would be all South Dakota State needed as the Jackrabbits held off a late Bison rally.
Strong showed why he is one of the best running backs in the FCS, rushing for 156 yards on 23 carries for two touchdowns. Strong also passed for a touchdown on a special trick play in the second quarter, giving Strong a role in every Jackrabbit score on the day. Defensively, South Dakota State forced two turnovers from North Dakota State QB Cam Miller, grabbing an interception and forcing a fumble.
South Dakota State moves to 7-2 (4-2), picking up its first home conference win to snap a two-game slide, boosting SDSU's FCS Playoff chances. North Dakota State falls to 8-1 (5-1), losing its first game.
Final- South Dakota State 27, North Dakota State 19
No. 12 South Dakota State has defeated No. 2 North Dakota State 27-19 to win the 2021 Dakota Marker.
See final stats below.
Jackrabbits recover! Jackrabbits 27, Bison 19 | 1:08 4Q
One score game! Jackrabbits 27, North Dakota State 19 | 1:09 4Q
North Dakota State kicked a field goal to end a drive that took three minutes and three seconds off the clock. The kick cuts the Jackrabbit lead to eight.
The Bison have zero timeouts left and will kick an onside kick to try and get the ball back.
Safety! Jackrabbits 27, Bison 16 | 4:21 4Q
South Dakota State's offense was unable to move the ball out from its own endzone after forcing a turnover on downs its last defensive possession. Rather than punt the ball, the Jackrabbits took a safety in order to get better field position for its defense.
North Dakota State now trails by 11 points. A touchdown with a two point conversion and a field goal can tie the game.
Red-zone stop! Jackrabbits 27, Bison 14 | 5:40 4Q
South Dakota State's defense forced a turnover on downs from North Dakota State at the Jackrabbit three-yard line. Bison QB Cam Miller fumbled on first-and-goal before getting stopped short on second and third down runs. Miller's fourth down pass fell incomplete.
South Dakota State will try and take some time off the clock, up two scores.
The 4th quarter is here
South Dakota State leads North Dakota State 27-14 entering the fourth quarter.
See the stats through three quarters below.
Touchdown North Dakota State! Jackrabbits 27, Bison 14 | 0:42 3Q
North Dakota State QB Cam Miller faked a quarterback draw, then found WR Raja Nelson for a touchdown. The Bison score stopped a 20-point run from South Dakota State. North Dakota State has now put the game in reach with the fourth quarter approaching.
TOUCHDOWN, BISON!— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) November 6, 2021
RaJa Nelson's first career touchdown comes on a 14-yard pass from Cam Miller. pic.twitter.com/5j5j5QbG5D
South Dakota State field goal! Jackrabbit 27, Bison 7 | 7:35 3Q
South Dakota State forces another turnover
South Dakota State LB Adam Bock tackled his former high school teammate, North Dakota State QB Cam Miller, forcing a fumble on the opening Bison drive of the second half. The Jackrabbits take over at the Bison 37-yard line.
How about this start to the second half?! Malik Lofton recovers a Bison fumble and we're goin' the other way 😎— SDSU Football (@GoJacksFB) November 6, 2021
3Q 14:16 | SDSU 24, NDSU 7 pic.twitter.com/ulSt5mqT3V
No. 12 South Dakota State has dominated No. 2 North Dakota State in the first half of the 2021 Dakota Marker, leading 24-7.
RB Pierre Strong Jr. has led the Jackrabbit offense. Strong has 137 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown on the day while averaging 9.13 yards per rush. QB Chris Oladokun has been efficient passing the ball too, completing 67 percent of his passes in the first half. The South Dakota State offensive performance has come against a North Dakota State defense that led the FCS in points allowed at 8.12 points per game. That number has almost tripled in the first half.
South Dakota State's defense has limited North Dakota State to just 54 rushing yards. This season, the Bison average 260 rushing yards per game but are currently on pace for less than half that total. A Jackrabbit interception early in the second quarter prevented a second Bison scoring opportunity.
Down big entering the second half, look for North Dakota State to target top wide receiver Christian Watson; he has zero catches so far.
The Bison will receive the second-half kickoff.
Halftime- South Dakota State 24, North Dakota State 7
South Dakota State leads North Dakota State 24-7, kicking a field goal as the first half clock expired.
See the first half stats below.
Trick-play TD! Jackrabbits 21, Bison 7 | 02:17 2Q
A second direct-snap to RB Pierre Strong Jr. went through the quarterback's legs. Strong danced in the backfield before throwing a jump-pass to TE Tucker Kraft in crazy fashion. The score is Kraft's fifth of the season. Strong remains perfect in his career as a passer, now 8-for-8 for 198 yards and five touchdowns.
No. 9 SDSU extends its lead to 21-7 vs. No. 2 NDSU in the 2nd qtr with this play pic.twitter.com/yWkQCV67eW— Sam Herder (@SamHerderFCS) November 6, 2021
Interception South Dakota State
Too Strong, Two touchdowns! Jackrabbits 14, Bison 7 | 0:18 1Q
South Dakota State RB Pierre Strong Jr. took a direct-snap into the endzone for his second touchdown of the game. Strong has now rushed for over 1000 yards for the third time of his career.
TOUCHDOWN JACKRABBITS 🐰— SDSU Football (@GoJacksFB) November 6, 2021
For the second time today, Pierre Strong, Jr. is in the end zone for SDSU 🔥
1Q :18 | SDSU 14, NDSU 7 pic.twitter.com/TBNj94kMZ1
The play capped off a 12 play, 75-yard drive. Earlier in the drive Jackrabbit QB Chris Oladokun found WR Jaxon Janke on a 38-yard pass, getting near the Bison redzone.
Chris Oladokun 👉 Jaxon Janke, 𝙁𝙄𝙍𝙎𝙏 𝘿𝙊𝙒𝙉 𝙅𝘼𝘾𝙆𝙎— SDSU Football (@GoJacksFB) November 6, 2021
1Q 3:24 | SDSU 7, NDSU 7 pic.twitter.com/1aNOAS2OcF