football-fcs flag

Anthony Chiusano | NCAA.com | September 21, 2019

North Dakota State vs. UC Davis: Preview and how to watch the top-4 FCS battle

Check out this week's FCS top plays

The first top-5 matchup of the 2019 FCS football season is set for this Saturday at the FargoDome. No. 1 North Dakota State will host No. 4 UC Davis in the top game of Week 4.

North Dakota State, unanimous No. 1 for the second straight week, enters Saturday's game 3-0 with wins over Butler, North Dakota and then-No. 18 Delaware. The Bison outscored those three opponents 142-39. UC Davis (2-1) rebounded from a two-score loss to FBS Cal in Week 1 to defeat San Diego and Lehigh.

This will be the first head-to-head meeting for North Dakota State and UC Davis since 2007. The Bison lead the all-time series 6-4 but the Aggies are 2-1 in their last three trips to Fargo.

Here’s everything you need to know before Saturday's game, including how to watch the matchup.

North Dakota State vs. UC Davis: Preview, how to watch

Game day information

North Dakota State-UC Davis kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 21. Here's how to watch, listen and track Saturday's game.

When: Saturday, Sept. 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET | Live stats

Where: Gate City Bank Field at The FargoDome | Fargo, North Dakota

How to watch: NBC North Dakota or ESPN+

How to listen: Bison Radio Network (NDSU) or SPORTS 1140 KHTK (UCD)

FCS RANKINGS: Towson enters top 5, NDSU stays No. 1 in latest Coaches' Poll | Full Top 25

Last meeting

North Dakota State topped UC Davis 35-16 in their last meeting on Oct. 6, 2007. In front of a sold-out homecoming game crowd at the FargoDome, Bison running back Tyler Roehl rushed for three first-half touchdowns and finished with 125 all-purpose yards.

NDSU took a 28-10 lead into halftime before each team scored just once more out of the break. The Bison, ranked second at the time, finished the 2007 season at 10-1. UC Davis ended the year at 5-6.

LIVE SCORES: Week 4 scoreboard and live stats | 2019 season stat leaders 

Saturday's game will mark the 11th all-time meeting between the two programs, which includes four Division II playoff games. NDSU is 6-4 against the Aggies overall, including 3-1 in the DII postseason.

The 2019 matchup

NORTH DAKOTA STATE   UC DAVIS
No. 1/1 Latest rankings (Coaches Poll/FCS STATS) No. 4/4
W, 47-22 over No. 18 Delaware Last week W, 41-13 over Lehigh
3-0 (0-0 MVFC) 2019 record 2-1 (0-0 Big Sky)
15-0 2018 record 10-3
Matt Entz (3-0, first year) Coach (school record; season) Dan Hawkins (17-10, third year)
9 FCS playoff appearances 1
7 FCS national championships 0
191.3 (69th) Passing offense 332.0 (9th)
316.3 (2nd) Rushing offense 105.7 (83rd)
47.3 (2nd) Scoring offense (points scored per game) 30.7 (44th)
13.0 (T-6th) Scoring defense (points allowed per-game) 25.0 (36th)

Two standout quarterbacks will be featured in this matinee matchup, and both of them get it done in different ways. While UC Davis senior Jake Maier — second in the nation in 2018 touchdown passes (34) — relies mostly on his arm, North Dakota State redshirt freshman Trey Lance has been a true dual threat in his first three collegiate starts. 

Here's how the two signal-callers match up statistically through their first three games in 2019:

QUARTERBACK CMP-ATT PASS TD RUSH TD INT CMP% PASS YARDS RUSH YARDS
Trey Lance (NDSU) 39-of-49 9 4 0 79.6% 542 234
Jake Maier (UCD) 86-of-124 6 0 2 69.4% 921 -40

7 more facts to know:

  • North Dakota State enters Saturday on a 24-game winning streak. That marks the longest active streak and ties for the third longest in FCS history. The Bison hold the all-time FCS mark with 33 straight wins from 2012-14.
  • Maier was named Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career and first time this season, coming off a big performance against Lehigh in Week 3. Maier finished 38-of-49 passing with 389 yards and four touchdowns. He now owns the school's career completions record with 756.
  • Six different Bison have scored rushing touchdowns through their first three games. Lance leads the group with four, followed by Saybein Clark's two. Kobe Johnson, Ty Brooks, Adam Cofield and Dimitri Williams all have one rushing score. Johnson is averaging a team-best 9.2 yards per carry (21 attempts).
  • Both the Bison and Aggies recorded seven sacks on defense in their Week 3 wins. They also have an identical nine total sacks through three games.
  • Maier was the only player on either side to be listed on the preseason Walter Payton Award watch list for most outstanding offensive player of the year. North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox is the game's lone representative on the preseason Buck Buchanan watch list for top defensive player.
  • UC Davis made its first FCS playoffs last year, finishing 10-3 and advancing to the national quarterfinals. The Aggies' turnaround season came just three years after a two-win 2015 campaign.
  • North Dakota State is 15-1 against top-5 teams since the start of 2011. The Bison's lone loss during this stretch came at home against eventual national champion James Madison in the 2016 FCS national semifinals.

North Dakota State football schedule 2019: Dates, times, opponents and results

Here is North Dakota State's complete schedule for the 2019 football season as the Bison look to defend their 2018 FCS national championship.
READ MORE

FCS football rankings: Four top-10 losses shake up Coaches' Poll

The latest FCS Coaches' Poll was released Monday, Oct. 14. Here were the biggest movers after four top-10 teams lost in Week 7.
READ MORE

FCS football rankings: Nicholls, Furman creep up in latest Coaches' Poll

Here are the top storylines and notable movers in the latest FCS Coaches' Poll, released Oct. 7.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners