No. 1 Bison advance past Coastal Carolina
FARGO (AP) – North Dakota State University is losing its head coach, but hasn’t lost its dominance.
Less than one week after Craig Bohl said he was leaving the Bison to coach Wyoming, top-seeded NDSU crushed No. 11 Coastal Carolina 48-14 in an FCS quarterfinal game on Saturday.
Sam Ojuri rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns and Brock Jensen completed 14 of 21 passes for 187 yards and two TDs as the two-time defending national champion Bison won their 22nd straight game. Jensen also ran for two TDs. The Bison host the winner of Southeastern Louisiana and New Hampshire in the semifinals Friday.
Jensen said Bohl’s decision to leave NDSU didn’t affect the Bison.
“We have a focused group of guys who are trying to accomplish greatness,” he said. “The world would have to end to affect this team’s focus.”
Bohl accepted the Wyoming job after 11 years and more than 100 victories at NDSU. He’s said he expects most of his assistant coaches to follow him to Laramie. NDSU players and administration agreed to have Bohl and his staff coach the Bison until season’s end.
“We have 24 seniors on this team,” Bohl said. “There is not a lot that gets them rattled or off course.”
The Bison (13-0) outgained the Chanticleers 624-281. Coastal Carolina (12-3) entered the game averaging 43 points and 491 yards of offense.
Christian Dudzik had two interceptions for the Bison.
It was clear from the start Bohl’s imminent departure would not affect the senior-laden Bison. NDSU had a 219-29 edge in total yards and led 17-0 after the first quarter. The Bison led 31-0 before Lorenzo Taliaferro’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:13 remaining in the second quarter got the Chanticleers on the board.
“We knew they had a good defense, we knew they were the No. 1-ranked defense,” Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross said. “We knew we would have to come out hot, playing hot, and we didn’t do that.”
Ojuri’s 73-yard touchdown run with 6:16 left in the first quarter gave NDSU a 10-0 lead. The Bison scored on three of their next four drives, including two TD runs by Jensen and one by Ojuri, for a 31-0 lead.
After Taliaferro’s score, NDSU went 29 yards in three plays to set up Adam Keller’s 48-yard field goal as the half ended.
The Bison had a 349-111 advantage in total yards at halftime.
Coastal Carolina lost 70-10 to South Carolina, the eighth-ranked team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, earlier this season. Chanticleers coach Joe Moglia said the Bison compare favorably to the Gamecocks.
“I think South Carolina would beat them, but I think they’d give South Carolina a game,” Moglia said.
Bohl came to NDSU in 2003 after being fired as defensive coordinator at Nebraska. He coached NDSU through the transition from NCAA Division II to the higher-level FCS. He is the all-time leader in victories at NDSU with a 102-32 record, including a 7-3 mark against Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The Bison won FCS titles following the 2011 and 2012 seasons.