NCAA FOOTBALL: No. 1 Bison, No. 2 Dukes to meet in FCS Championship

FRISCO, TEXAS – No. 1-ranked North Dakota State (15-0) faces No. 2 James Madison (14-1) in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game at 11 a.m. this Saturday at Toyota Stadium (20,500) in Frisco, Texas. This is a rematch of the 2017 national championship game. NDSU has won two straight and seven of the last eight FCS championships with JMU taking the 2016 title after beating NDSU in the semifinals. JMU is making its third title game appearance in four years.

The series

This is the fourth meeting between North Dakota State and James Madison, all in the FCS playoffs. NDSU leads the series 2-1 including a 17-13 victory in the 2017 national championship after JMU’s 27-17 win at the Fargodome in the 2016 semifinals. The teams first met in the 2011 second round with the Bison winning 26-14 in Fargo. NDSU is 7-1 against Colonial Athletic Association opponents including a pair of wins over Delaware in 2018 and 2019.

15-time National Champions

North Dakota State won its 15th football national championship in 2018. NDSU claimed three College Division national championships in 1965, 1968 and 1969 via the national polls, five Division II playoff titles in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1990, and was the first team in college football history to win five straight national titles with FCS crowns in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 before winning again in 2017 and 2018.

Undefeated first-year head coaches

With a victory in the FCS championship, North Dakota State’s Matt Entz would become the first Division I head football coach to win all 16 games in his first season at the helm. Among other notable winning streaks for first-time head coaches, Walter Camp won his first 28 games at Yale in 1888 and 1889, Larry Coker won his first 24 games at Miami (Fla.) in 2001 and 2002, and current Ohio State coach Ryan Day had a 16-game winning streak snapped in this year’s Playstation Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson.

Lance, Bison

limiting turnovers

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance has attempted 278 career passes without an interception, breaking the school record 152 set by Easton Stick. The Bison have committed the fewest turnovers in the FCS this season (6) and are tied with Weber State and Incarnate Word for second in the FCS with a plus-16 turnover margin. NDSU’s fumble lost against Montana State is the only Bison turnover in the past seven games.

— Content courtesy

of NDSU Athletic Communications