North Dakota State’s pursuit of a sixth straight national title got off to a thrilling start on Saturday night in the season opener for FCS and, as it was noted several times, “the first college football game on American soil.” Charleston Southern had a field goal try to pull off the upset in regulation, but the Bison won 24-17 in overtime thanks to a 25-yard touchdown run by King Frazier on the first possession of overtime.
Being a battle of top-10 teams in the preseason FCS poll, with defending champ North Dakota State at No. 1 and Charleston Southern checking in at No. 6, the game was played well and kept pretty tight until the most urgent moments of the fourth quarter.
Locked in at a 17-17 tie, North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick threw an interception on a 4th down from the 35 that was returned 30 yards the other way, giving Charleston Southern a chance to steal the win. After the Bucs were only able to advance the ball seven yards in the 18 seconds they had to scramble, the 46-yard field goal was missed left.
A few things to note from the game:
1. Reversed season opener situation for the champs. Boise State coach Chris Klieman only lost three times in his first two seasons as the coach in Fargo, and one of them was in last year’s season opener against Montana. There was a lot going against the Bison in that game including the setting (Missoula, Mont.) and the intangibles (the excitement around Bob Stitt’s debut as Montana’s coach). On Saturday, that luck worked in favor of the reigning FCS kings with the missed field goal and early touchdown in extra time.
2. Replacing Carson Wentz report: Bison will be fine with Stick. The sophomore had a pretty good game until that potentially back-breaking interception in the last 30 seconds. He finished 17-of-27 with 194 passing yards, 45 rushing yards and two passing touchdowns to go with that late-game pick. While Wentz played a role in continuing the impressive success of the program, the idea that North Dakota State will struggle with him gone ignores the depth that’s been established in Fargo.
3. Tough FCS foes for Florida State and Iowa. The fun in Fargo also put on display two tough outs for teams with College Football Playoff dreams. Florida State hosts Charleston Southern on Sept. 10, less than one week after playing Ole Miss in Orlando for the Labor Day kickoff weekend finale. North Dakota State will play Iowa on Sept. 17.
4. Charleston Southern’s helmets: too similar to Navy‘s? We understand that schools share apparel partners, but Charleston Southern’s helmet is too similar to Navy’s alternate. It’s a Nike helmet design, but there can only be ONE nautical-themed alternate in this design scheme of college football. It’s either the Midshipmen or the Bucs, and it’s up to Nike to choose.
Colleague Tom Fornelli brought it up on Twitter dot com and Navy’s official Twitter account even replied.
It’s pretty crazy that they are THIS similar.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / North Dakota State, Charleston Southern set to be tough outs for FSU, Iowa