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Miller, Bison Come From Behind to Beat Missouri State, 27-20

Published: Oct. 24, 2021 at 12:42 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. - Sophomore quarterback Cam Miller came off the bench to lead two late touchdown drives as No. 3-ranked North Dakota State came from behind to beat 17th-ranked Missouri State 27-20 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference on Saturday, Oct. 23, before a crowd of 15,559 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

Miller completed 7 of 9 passing attempts for 122 yards including a 29-yard TD pass to Phoenix Sproles that tied the game with 13:40 to play in the fourth quarter. He connected with Christian Watson on a 24-yard touchdown for the game-winning score with 4:57 left to play.

Missouri State (4-3, 3-2 MVFC) drove to the NDSU 36 on its final possession, but a pair of false start penalties and back-to-back sacks by Brayden Thomas and Logan McCormick pushed the Bears into a fourth-and-33 they couldn’t convert.

North Dakota State (7-0, 4-0 MVFC) registered five sacks for the third consecutive game, including one by linebacker Jasir Cox early in the fourth quarter to force a three-and-out after NDSU had tied the game. Cox also made his third interception in two games for the Bison.

Miller was 6-for-6 passing and connected with four different receivers on the final drive of the game. He also picked up two first downs rushing on the 12-play, 62-yard march that ate up 7:06 of the fourth quarter. Christian Watson led the Bison with four catches for 106 yards.

Missouri State, led by Utah State transfer Jason Shelley at quarterback, needed only seven offensive plays to take a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter with a field goal and touchdown on its first two possessions. Shelley went 16 of 25 passing for 242 yards and Tyrone Scott caught six passes for 104 yards to lead the Bears.

NDSU capitalized on a Missouri State turnover to get on the scoreboard early in the second quarter. MSU’s Hunter Wood fumbled a punt that was recovered by NDSU’s Mason Hofstedt at the 15, and Bison quarterback Quincy Patterson ran for a 15-yard touchdown on the next play to make it a 10-7 game.

The teams traded field goals with Missouri State’s Jose Pizano converting a 25-yard kick late in the second quarter and Jake Reinholz answering with a 46-yarder as time expired to bring the Bison within 13-10 at halftime. Reinholz tied the game with a 41-yard field goal on NDSU’s first drive of the third quarter.

Linebacker Cole Wisniewski and safety Michael Tutsie led NDSU with eight tackles each, Dawson Weber made seven stops, linebacker Jackson Hankey made six tackles, and defensive end Brayden Thomas returned to the lineup from an injury to make four tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

North Dakota State is scheduled to host Indiana State in the annual Trees Bowl game sponsored by the North Dakota Forest Service next Saturday, Oct. 30. The Sycamores are 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the MVFC after a 28-17 homecoming win over Youngstown State.

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