College Football

FCS championship game review

(AP Photo/Sam Hodde)


STATS FCS Senior Editor

FRISCO, Texas (Stats Perform) - Give North Dakota State a week off and give the Bison a victory.

Give them three weeks to prepare for the FCS championship game and give them the national title.

A sensational championship game win over James Madison on Saturday was the Missouri Valley Conference power's 33rd straight after open weeks in the regular season and postseason, including all eight trips to Frisco.

How the FCS dynasy made title-winning plays on offense, defense and special teams showed why its program stands alone in the subdivision.

Here's a quick review of the championship game:

The Score - No. 1 seed North Dakota State (16-0, 8-0 Missouri Valley) beat No. 2 seed James Madison (14-2, 8-0 CAA) 28-20 in the FCS championship game.

Story Line - The greatest dynasty continued with North Dakota State winning a third straight FCS title and eighth in the last seasons. The Bison finished the decade with a 137-13 (.913) record, winning a national titles three different head coaches - Craig Bohl, Chris Klieman and now Matt Entz.

Game Balls - Redshirt freshman quarterback Trey Lance, fresh off winning the Stats Perform FCS Walter Payton Award as national offensive player of the year, was named the championship game's most outstanding player, setting career highs with 30 carries and 166 rushing yards, including a 44-yard touchdown scramble to open the fourth quarter. Senior captain James Hendricks had a 20-yard touchdown run as the holder on a fake field goal in the second quarter and preserved the win with a goal-line interception in the closing seconds.

Key Stat - James Madison had allowed only one opponent to surpass 100 rushing yards in its first 15 games, but the Bison carried the ball 45 times for 281 yards.

The Takeaway - There was no better possible matchup for the FCS level than the two teams that were ranked No. 1 and 2 all season, but there's no better program than NDSU.

Next Season - The Bison will be the team to beat again nationally and will bring their FCS-record 37-game winning streak into a Sept. 5 opener at Oregon. James Madison faces heavy senior losses, but it expects to be a Top 5 team, hosting Delaware to open the campaign Sept. 5.

Updated January 11, 2020

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