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9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 AM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Dec. 8, 2018
Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota  Attendance: 16,404

North Dakota State shuts out Colgate, returns to FCS semifinals

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - The Fargodome roof could fly off in a winter-like storm and that may not be enough to distract defending FCS champion North Dakota State.

The unbeaten and top-seeded Bison were business as usual as Easton Stick threw three touchdown passes and the defense dominated in a 35-0 shutout of eighth-seeded Colgate in the playoff quarterfinals Saturday.

North Dakota State (13-0) is in pursuit of a record seventh FCS title. Chris Klieman, who's been a part of all six since 2011, is seeking his fourth as a head coach, which has been achieved only by Youngstown State's Jim Tressel.

Up next is a semifinal-round game against Missouri Valley Conference rival South Dakota State (10-2) Friday night at the Fargodome, where the roof will be intact - unless the decibel level soars higher. The Bison won the regular-season matchup, 21-17 on Sept. 29.

"They (NDSU players) keep attacking the process on a daily basis," said Klieman, who's 67-6 in six seasons. "Got a lot of believers in that locker room, got a lot great leaders, tons of really good seniors. It's been a really good football team, really disciplined team. Our guys are pretty focused."

Klieman downplayed speculation all week that Big 12 member Kansas State will hire him as its next coach. The distraction had little impact on the Bison's 19th straight win and first playoff shutout since 2011 (24-0 over Lehigh in the quarterfinals).

NDSU outgained Colgate 443-157, posted four sacks and limited the 10-2 Patriot League champ to a combined 1 of 15 on third- and fourth-down conversions in the first meeting between the programs.

The Bison capped their opening 96-yard drive with Ty Brooks' 26-yard touchdown run. Stick connected for a 2-yard TD pass to tight end Ben Ellefson just before halftime, a 10-yarder to Darrius Sheppard early in the third quarter and a 6-yarder to Phoenix Sproles - the first of the freshman's career - in the fourth quarter.

Stick completed 14 of 19 passes for 205 yards. He has a 47-3 record as a starter, which is one shy of former NDSU standout Brock Jensen's FCS-record 48 career wins by a quarterback.

Bruce Anderson scored on a 42-yard run as part of his 12 carries for 124 yards. Colgate entered the quarterfinal ranked first in the FCS in scoring defense (seven points per game) and total defense (219 yards per game).

"They were a little different than what we played all year, and it showed," Colgate coach Dan Hunt said.

"North Dakota State has the blueprint for what we want to do. I've said it to anyone who would listen: When we put the film on of these guys, this is the hardest-playing football team we've faced. And that's exactly what we try to do when we play offense and defense."

The leading rushers entering the game, seniors James Holland Jr. of Colgate and Lance Dunn of NDSU, were knocked from the game with injuries.

Updated December 8, 2018

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