E.A. Sports Today

One for the thumb

North Dakota State stifles Jax State’s offense in championship game for its record fifth straight national title

“Not our best day, of course; we would have liked to play a lot better. We just didn’t give them a good game today.”

–JSU coach John Grass

Compiled from multiple sources

FRISCO, Texas – North Dakota State scored on its first four possessions and rolled to a 37-10 victory over No. 1 seed Jacksonville State in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game before a record crowd of 21,836 at Toyota Stadium Saturday.

The third-seeded Bison (13-2) became the first team in college football history to win five straight national championships. It was the 13th national title in school history.

The Gamecocks averaged 529 yards of offense per game and 625 yards per game in the playoffs, but the Bison defense limited JSU to a season-low 204 yards, its fewest since 2006. They had four turnovers and completed only seven passes for 57 yards.

NDSU recorded 40:51 in time of possession, a category in which it led the nation for the season.

“Not our best day, of course; we would have liked to play a lot better,” JSU coach John Grass said. “We just didn’t give them a good game today.”

“If we played the way we played all season the outcome of the game would’ve bene different and we didn’t do that,” JSU quarterback Eli Jenkins said. “It should’ve been different. … We just weren’t clicking today.”

Senior Carson Wentz returned as the starting quarterback for NDSU after missing more than two months with a wrist injury. The NFL prospect finished 16-of-29 passing for 197 yards, as well as adding 79 rushing yards on nine carries to win game MVP honors. He accounted for three touchdowns — two rushing and one passing.

Cam Pederson’s 29-yard field goal capped a 15-play, 63-yard drive to open the game, and the Bison held the ball for more than 20 minutes in the first half en route to a 24-point halftime lead.

Andrew Bonnet caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Wentz to make it 10-0, Wentz scored on an 11-yard run, and King Frazier scored from the 1 to put the Bison ahead 24-0 midway through the second quarter.

“We jumped on them quickly, which we thought was going to be a really big key,” Bisons coach Chris Klieman said.

JSU (13-2) put 10 points on the scoreboard in the third quarter, but NDSU responded with two more Pedersen field goals and another rushing TD by Wentz to keep the game out of reach.

JSU senior running back Buster Pope of Anniston had 31 yards in the game to break the Ohio Valley Conference single-season rushing record. He finished the year with 1,788 yards.

The game was played in front of a crowd of 21,836 at Toyota Stadium Saturday.

North Dakota State 37, Jacksonville State 10

Jacksonville State 0 0 10 0 — 10
North Dakota State 3 21 3 10 — 37

N – Cam Pedersen 29 FG, 8:36 1Q
N – Andrew Bonnet 8 pass form Carson Wentz (Pedersen kick), 12:39 2Q
N – Wentz 11 run (Pedersen kick), 11:13 2Q
N – King Frazier 1 run (Pedersen kick), 6:12 2Q
J – Eli Jenkins 6 run (Connor Rouleau kick), 11:04 3Q
J – Rouleau 26 FG, 3:41 3Q
N – Pedersen 31 FG, 0:20 3Q
N – Wentz 1 run (Pedersen kick), 7:45 4Q
N – Pedersen 38 FG, 4:22 4Q

Game stats JSU NDSU
First downs 9 24
Rushing yds 147 182
Passing yds 57 197
Penalties-yds 5-43 2-10
3D conversion 3-12 11-17
4D conversion 1-2 1-1
Possession time 19:09 40:51

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