Sam Ojuri rushed for a touchdown, Brock Jensen threw a scoring pass to Kevin Vaadeland, and North Dakota State held South Dakota State to a season low in total offense Saturday, Nov. 10, in a 20-17 win that clinched at least a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title.
North Dakota State (9-1, 6-1 MVFC) clinched a share of its second straight Valley Football title and its third conference title since 2006 (including the Great West). It is the program's 29th conference title overall.
The Bison also claimed the Dakota Marker trophy for the third straight year and hold a 5-4 edge in the Marker series.
Adam Keller added a pair of field goals for NDSU, including a 30-yarder in the third quarter that put the Bison ahead for good.
The Bison held SDSU (7-3, 5-2) to 209 yards of total offense, just 46 of them on the ground. A lot of those yards came on the Jackrabbits' 74-yard scoring drive in the final minutes, but SDSU couldn't recover the ensuing onside kick and NDSU ran out the clock.
North Dakota State has allowed over 100 yards rushing only once in 10 games this season. The Bison have limited opponents to under 250 yards of total offense in 10 of the last 11 games.
Ojuri had 75 yards rushing and put the Bison ahead 20-10 on a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:39 left that proved to be the game-winning score.
North Dakota State had 251 yards of total offense including 171 yards rushing. Jensen had 14 carries for 67 yards rushing including a career long rush of 56 yards. The Bison held a 35:08 to 24:52 advantage in time of possession including over 21 minutes in the second half.
Linebacker Travis Beck led the NDSU defense with nine tackles, while South Dakota State linebacker Ross Shafrath turned in a game-high 15. The Bison had five sacks including 1.5 for linebacker Grant Olson, who had eight tackles. Chase Hettiger, Doug Peete and Chase Douglas each had one sack for the Jackrabbits.
Both punters were kept busy. South Dakota State's Ethan Sawyer punted eight times for an average of 40.6 yards including two inside the 20 and a long punt of 60. NDSU's Ben LeCompte punted five times for an average of 49.8 yards including a long punt of 63 yards.
The game was played before a sellout crowd of 18,721 fans at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. It is the program's 13th sellout over the past seven seasons.