complete release attached
No. 1-ranked North Dakota State (12-1, 7-1 Valley Football) is scheduled to host No. 6/7 Georgia Southern (10-3, 6-2 Southern Conference) in an NCAA FCS playoff semifinal game at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome (AstroTurf®’s GameDay Grass™ / 18,700) ... Top-seeded North Dakota State defeated Wofford College 14-7 on Dec. 8, while the Eagles defeated Old Dominion 49-35 ... The NDSU-Georgia Southern winner plays the Sam Houston State (10-3)-Eastern Washington (11-2) winner in the FCS championship game on Jan 5, 2013, in Frisco.
SERIES RECORD: This is the third meeting between North Dakota State and Georgia Southern ... NDSU leads the series 2-0 including a 35-7 win in the FCS semifinals last season (recap on page 4) ... The Bison are 3-0 against members of the Southern Conference ... Members of the MVFC are 5-13 against the SoCon in the playoffs.
AT HOME: North Dakota State has compiled a 245-37-3 record at home since 1964 ... The Bison are 100-23-0 in Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome since moving from Dacotah Field in 1993 ... NDSU is 21-3 over the last three seasons at home and is 51-12 since head coach Craig Bohl took over in 2003.
SELL OUT: North Dakota State has recorded its 13th sellout over the past seven seasons including a record crowd of 19,065 vs. No. 3 Youngstown State at Gate City Bank Field on Oct. 6 ... NDSU has attracted over 18,000 fans in 15 of its last 16 home games including four sellouts.
POSTSEASON HISTORY: North Dakota State is making its third straight NCAA Division I FCS playoff appearance and the program’s 26th postseason overall including 17 in the Division II playoffs ... The Bison won the 2011 NCAA FCS national championship with a 17-6 win over Sam Houston State on Jan. 7, 2012, in Frisco, Texas ... North Dakota State, the No. 2 seed, posted home wins over James Madison (26-14), Lehigh (24-0) and Georgia Southern (35-7) to advance ... NDSU advanced to the 2010 NCAA FCS quarterfinals before falling 38-31 in overtime at eventual national champion Eastern Washington ... North Dakota State defeated Robert Morris 43-17 in the opening round, the program’s first-ever NCAA playoff game in the Fargodome ... NDSU defeated Montana State 42-17 in the second round at Bozeman ... The Bison are 43-14 overall in the postseason including an 8-1 record in the NCAA FCS playoffs and 31-12 record in NCAA Division II ... North Dakota State has won nine national championships (1965, 1968, 1969, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990 and 2011) and were national runner-up three times (1967, 1981 and 1984) ... The Bison also were third place five times (1970, 1976, 1977, 1982, 2000) ... Championships & placings prior to 1973 were determined by AP or UPI polls ... Championship & runner-up finishes after that were through the NCAA playoff format ... Third-place finishes after 1973 were the result of semifinal losses in the playoff system.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised on ESPN2 and WatchESPN ... Dave Neal will handle the play-by-play, Andre Ware will provide the color analyst and the sideline reporter is Cara Capuano ... All 11 regular season games in 2012 were televised for the first time in school history ... The Bison are 112-57-1 (.662) in TV games.
RADIO BROADCAST: KFGO-AM 790, Fargo ... Veteran sports announcer Scott Miller will handle the play-by-play ... Former NDSU quarterback Steve Walker will handle the color duties, while NDSU director of athletic broadcasting Jeremy Jorgenson is on the sidelines ... Air time is set for 6:30 p.m., kickoff at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 ... Anchored by flagship, The Mighty 790, KFGO-AM, the Bison Radio Network has 20 stations including (Fargo, simulcast on KRWK 101.9 FM); KFYR 550 AM (Bismarck); KHRT 1320 AM (Minot); KSJB 600 AM (Jamestown); KEYZ 660 AM (Williston); KDVL 102.5 FM (Devils Lake); KHND 1470 AM (Harvey); KZZJ 1450 AM (Rugby); KPOK 1340 AM (Bowman); KAUJ – 100.9 FM (Grafton); KLTC 1460 AM (Dickinson); WLKX 95.9 FM (North) / KBGY 107.5 FM (South) (Minneapolis/St. Paul); KDDG 105.5 FM (Albany); KZCR 103.3 FM (Fergus Falls); KMGK 107.1 FM (Glenwood), and KKCQ 96.7 FM (Fosston) ... The Bison gameday format includes a 30-minute pregame show with comments from Craig Bohl, in-depth analysis and features ... A complete 30-minute postgame show is covered from the press box and locker room areas.
OLSON ON THE TACKLE: Middle linebacker Grant Olson set a school record with 29 tackles in the 14-7 win over Wofford College (12-8-12) in the NCAA FCS quarterfinals ... The 29 tackles are the highest total in NCAA football this season at any division ... It is tied for second all-time in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and one off the FCS playoff record of 30 ... Olson broke the NDSU record of 26 set by safety Ken Clark vs. Nebraska-Omaha in 1989 ... He had 23 assisted tackles vs. Wofford which broke the previous school record of 21 set three times ... Olson ranks 19th nationally at 10.54 tackles per game ... He has five double-figure tackle games this season and six in his career ... Olson leads the team with 137 tackles, the highest total since 1989 when Clark had 135.
TOUGH GOING: After limiting South Dakota State to 217 yards on Dec. 1, North Dakota State has held 11 of its last 14 opponents to under 250 yards of total offense, dating back to the FCS Championship game victory over Sam Houston State ... The 11 rushing yards by Southern Illinois were the lowest yielded since Concordia-St. Paul was limited to minus-14 in 2006 ... The 76 yards given up at South Dakota (10-20-12) was the lowest total offense yardage allowed since Moorhead State was limited to 66 (43 rushing, 23 passing) in 2000 ... Missouri State’s 22 passing yards were the lowest allowed since Minnesota State Moorhead’s 23 in 2000 ... USD’s four first downs were fewest since NDSU allowed three vs. Minnesota State Moorhead in 2000.
DON’T TREAD ON ME: North Dakota State leads the nation in scoring defense (10.77 avg/g), total defense (207.38 avg/g), pass defense (128.85 avg/g), defense 3rd down efficiency (26.11 pct.) and first downs allowed (11.31 avg/g) ... The Bison defense has allowed only three rushing touchdowns (at Illinois State, 11-17-12; at Missouri State, 11-3-12; at UNI, 9-29-12) and 12 overall ... NDSU has allowed over 100 yards on the ground three times through 13 games ... Missouri State had 127 rushing yards on Nov. 3, Illinois State had 111 on Nov. 17, Wofford had 262 on Dec. 8 ... Only two of 13 opponents have passed for over 200 yards, UNI had 213 on Sept. 29, Illinois State had 207 on Nov. 17 ... NDSU has 85 tackles for loss, 36 QB hurries, 33 sacks, 30 pass breakups, 15 fumble recoveries and nine interceptions.
DRIVE TIME: North Dakota State leads the nation in time of possession at 35-minutes, 14-seconds ... The Bison played “keep-away” for a season-high 40:48 in the 23-17 win over Southern Illinois (10-27-12) ... That included a season-high scoring drive of 10:03 (16 plays, 66-yards) ... On the average, NDSU has held the ball for 18:45 out of 30-minutes in the second half including 9:34 in the third quarter ... The Bison kept the ball for 13:19 out of 15-minutes during the third quarter in the win at Colorado State ... The Bison are averaging 8.5 plays covering 54.7 yards in 4-minutes, 26-seconds on 66 scoring drives.