FCS Playoff Review: North Dakota State 37, Nicholls 13
By CRAIG HALEY
The Score - No. 1 seed North Dakota State (13-0) beat Nicholls (9-5) 37-13 in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
Story Line - The two-time defending national champion Bison scored the final 23 points to claim their 34th straight win since 2017, setting an FCS record.
Game Ball - Quarterback Trey Lance, the first freshman to win offensive player of the year in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, accounted for 257 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. He has thrown 25 touchdowns without an interception in 235 attempts this season.
Key Stats - The Bison outgained Nicholls 434-265 by holding four-year standout Chase Fourcade in check in his final game. The Southland offensive player of the year's 94 passing yards and 122 yards of total offense were his lowest totals since 2017, and Michael Tutsie and James Hendricks had third-quarter interceptions that led to 10 points.
The Takeaway - First-year coach Matt Entz and the Bison have to feel ultra-confident with home-field advantage through the semifinal round because they've won 26 straight games at the Fargodome. Nicholls put up a fight for three quarters, but NDSU has rarely blinked in tight spots during its dynasty this decade.
Up Next - North Dakota State will host Illinois State (10-4) in the quarterfinals next weekend. The Bison's 37-3 win over their conference rival on Oct. 5 was their eighth straight in the series.
Updated December 7, 2019