NDSU started the game on the offensive, driving the ball from the heart of their own territory. After three short plays, the Herd was forced to punt.
Southern Illinois University was given a touchback and proceeded to steadily drive the ball toward their goal. Jewel Hampton led the offensive drive, and the Salukis got the ball to the Bison 1. SIU repeatedly went for the touchdown, but Bison defense successfully fended them off, turning the ball over to the Bison deep in their own territory.
Bison offense was weak and after a third-down sack on Brock Jensen, the Herd had to kick. A powerful return by the Salukis brought the ball back to Bison territory.
SIU failed to gain much ground, and a third down sack by Leevon Perry coupled with a fourth-down attempt put the ball in NDSU's hands.
Again, NDSU offense failed to produce, and in a repeat of their previous offensive drive, Jensen was sacked at a pivotal time. The Bison had to punt, giving SIU the ball at the 34.
The last play of the quarter brought the ball to the SIU 37 with a score of 0-0.
Continuing with a series of strong offensive plays, SIU ran the ball to the Bison 39. A recovered fumble, however, set them back to the Bison 42. NDSU defense remained strong, and the Salukis were forced to punt.
The Bison received the ball at their 8, but a personal foul sent them back to the 4. Offense again failed to produce, and the Herd had to give the ball back to the Salukis without having earned a first down.
SIU started their drive with a deep end-zone attempt, but an interception put the ball in the hands of Marcus Williams. A touchback gave NDSU the ball at the 20.
Offense was again unimpressive, with the Bison having to punt the ball back to the Salukis without a first down.
SIU took advantage of the ball during their next possession, with a massive play led by Cam Fuller bringing them to the Bison 20. Bison defense again held strong, though, and the Salukis had to kick. A successful field goal brought the game to 3-0, SIU.
The Bison were given the ball, with a touchback placing them at the 20. A six-yard gain was offset by a series of stuffs at the 26. NDSU had to punt, again putting the ball in the hands of the Saluki offense.
SIU brought the ball deep into Bison territory with seconds left in the half. Bison defense led a standoff near the Bison 5, successfully fending off the Salukis. A Saluki field goal attempt failed, ending the half at 3-0, SIU.
SIU started the half less powerfully than they started the first quarter. With a punt recovery at the 29, they drove it to the 45 before they had to punt to the Herd.
NDSU moved forward, but a Saluki interception quickly bought SIU another possession. Bison defense stuffed SIU offense though, and NDSU quickly got back the ball.
A perfectly placed kick by Southern Illinois State put the Bison within yards of their own goal. Weak offense forced them to return the ball again without a first down.
SIU started their drive at the Bison 44. They drove to the 26 before they had to return it to the Bison.
Bison offense showed a newfound strength on their next possession. A deep pass to Ryan Smith brought the ball 58 yards to the SIU 22. Saluki offense halted the Herd there, forcing NDSU to punt. A completed field goal tied the game, 3-3.
SIU and NDSU went back and forth, without any remarkable plays until the fourth quarter, when Marcus Williams picked a ball from ISU at the 50. Bison offense continued strongly until a touchdown by Matt Veldman brought the game to 9-3, Bison.
A missed extra point kept the score at 9-3.
SIU's next offensive was halted by the Bison defense, and the Salukis were forced to return the ball to NDSU. A punt return by Ryan Smith brought the ball back into SIU territory. NDSU offense couldn't drive it from there and had to kick from the SIU 41.
The Salukis began to push forth, but threw another interception while still in their territory. NDSU's Chad Wilson made the pick, giving the Bison great field position.
On fourth down with seconds left on the clock, the Bison ran the clock and decided to run instead of kick. Jensen ran the ball two yards for a first down, closing the game at 9-3, Bison.