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Anthony Chiusano | | October 26, 2019

North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State: Preview, all-time history, how to watch the Dakota Marker rivalry

Check out this week's FCS top plays

The Dakota Marker trophy and sole possession of first place in the MVFC will be on the line Saturday afternoon when No. 1 North Dakota State travels to Brookings, South Dakota to take on No. 3 South Dakota State.

This will be the 110th overall meeting between the two rivals and the 20th time since 2004 when both programs joined Division I. Both teams sit atop the MVFC at 3-0 in conference play in 2019.

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

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North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State: Preview, how to watch

Game day information

There's been no shortage of hype for this weekend's matchup, which was further boosted by the announcement that South Dakota State would host ESPN's College GameDay for the first time in school history. South Dakota State revealed Monday that Saturday's game has already been sold out.

College GameDay will air from 9 a.m. to noon ET on ESPN, live from SDSU's College Green campus area. The North Dakota State-South Dakota State game will begin at 3 p.m. ET. 

When: Saturday, Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. ET | Follow live stats | Full FCS scoreboard

Where: Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium | Brookings, South Dakota

How to watch: ESPN+, Midco SN or NBC North Dakota 

How to listen: Jackrabbit Sports Network or Bison Radio Network 

ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY: Locations, all-time appearances and most times hosting the show

Dakota Marker Game: All-time series history

North Dakota State and South Dakota State's series history ranges back to a 1903 meeting that North Dakota Agricultural won 85-0. The two schools have played annually since 2004 in what's become known as the battle for the Dakota Marker.

NDSU leads the all-time series 62-42-5. The Bison are 9-6 in regular season games since 2004 and 4-0 in FCS playoff meetings. Last season, NDSU won 21-17 in September and 44-21 in the national semifinals on Dec. 14.

But homefield advantage has been kinder to the Jackrabbits in recent series history. SDSU is 4-3 at home against the Bison since 2004, including a 33-21 victory in the last meeting in Brookings in 2017. NDSU has not lost a game — regular season or playoffs — since that matchup nearly two full years ago. 

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Here are the series results since the programs started playing each other annually at the FCS level in 2004:

Oct. 9, 2004 Brookings, S.D. South Dakota State, 24-21
Nov. 12, 2005 Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State, 41-17
Nov. 18, 2006 Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State, 41-28
Nov. 17, 2007 Brookings, S.D. South Dakota State, 29-24
Nov. 22, 2008 Fargo, N.D. South Dakota State, 25-24
Oct. 17, 2009 Brookings, S.D. South Dakota State, 28-13
Nov. 13, 2010 Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State, 31-24
Oct. 22, 2011 Brookings, S.D. North Dakota State, 38-14
Nov. 10, 2012 Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State, 20-17
Dec. 1, 2012 Fargo, N.D. * North Dakota State, 28-3 (FCS Second Round)
Sept. 28, 2013 Brookings, S.D. North Dakota State, 20-0
Nov. 1, 2014 Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State, 31-17
Dec. 6, 2014 Fargo, N.D. * North Dakota State, 27-24 (FCS Second Round)
Oct. 3, 2015 Brookings, S.D. North Dakota State, 28-7
Oct. 15, 2016 Fargo, N.D. South Dakota State, 19-17
Dec. 10, 2016 Fargo, N.D. * North Dakota State, 36-10 (FCS Quarterfinals)
Nov. 4, 2017 Brookings, S.D. South Dakota State, 33-21
Sept. 29, 2018 Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State, 21-17
Dec. 14, 2018 Fargo, N.D. * North Dakota State, 44-21 (FCS Semifinals)

*Denotes matchup took place in FCS playoffs

What is the Dakota Marker trophy?

North Dakota State Athletics Dakota Marker trophy

The Dakota Marker trophy has been given to the winning team in this rivalry series since 2004. The coveted prize is a 75-pound model replica of the 720 original quartzite monuments that stood at half-mile intervals along the border of the two states back in 1891 and 1892. "N.D." and "S.D." are inscribed on opposite sides as well as "190 M," representing the distance in miles between Fargo and Brookings.

The 2019 matchup: How they stack up, statistically

Both North Dakota State and South Dakota State rank in the top 13 in rushing offense and top 6 in scoring defense. Those strong units have allowed for easy transitions of first-year starting quarterbacks Trey Lance (NDSU) and J'Bore Gibbs (SDSU), both redshirt freshmen.

Gibbs has 14 total touchdowns and a 149.57 passing efficiency in five games. Lance is fourth in the nation with a 183.90 passing efficiency to go with 22 total touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Below is a deeper look at how the two teams compare this season.

No. 1/1 Latest rankings (Coaches Poll/FCS STATS) No. 3/3
W, 22-0 vs. Missouri State Last week W, 42-23 at Indiana State
7-0 (3-0 MVFC) 2019 record 6-1 (3-0 MVFC)
15-0 2018 record 10-3
Matt Entz
(7-0, first year)
Coach (school record; season) John Stiegelmeier
(164-101, 23rd year)
9 FCS playoff appearances 8
7 FCS national championships 0
184.1 ypg (93rd) Passing offense 184.4 ypg (92nd)
287.0 ypg (4th) Rushing offense 236.9 ypg (13th)
39.1 ppg (7th) Scoring offense (points scored per game) 35.4 ppg (20th)
10.3 ppg (2nd) Scoring defense (points allowed per game) 15.6 ppg (6th)
+6 Turnover margin +5

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