Brock Jensen passed for 198 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 1-ranked North Dakota State to its 18th straight victory 28-10 over Illinois State the 40th annual Harvest Bowl game Saturday, Nov. 9, before a crowd of 18,076 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
Jensen was 13-for-22 and completed passes to six different receivers led by Zach Vraa, who had five receptions for 109 yards including touchdowns of 27 and 26 yards. Tight end Kevin Vaadeland had a career-high 57 receiving yards including a a 3-yard TD pass.
NDSU running back John Crockett rushed 20 times for 104 yards. His 1-yard run capped a nearly 8-minute drive in the fourth quarter as the Bison went 71 yards in 13 plays to make it a three-possession game with only 1:03 left in the fourth quarter.
Outside linebacker Carlton Littlejohn made a career-high 16 tackles including seven solo stops. He took over at middle linebacker down the stretch for Grant Olson, who made nine tackles before leaving the game in the third quarter with a left leg injury. Danny Luecke and Brendin Pierre each had quarterback sacks.
NDSU outgained Illinois State 394 to 196 in total offense. Redbirds quarterback Blake Winkler was 12-for-21 for 72 yards, Cameron Hunt rushed 11 times for 72 yards, and Marshaun Coprich had 21 carries for 59 yards and one touchdown.
North Dakota State is scheduled to play Youngstown State at 2 p.m. EST next Saturday, Nov. 16, in a battle for first place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.