NDSU Advances to FCS Quarterfinals With 38-7 Win Over Southern Illinois
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - TaMerik Williams rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 2 seed North Dakota State to a 38-7 home win over Southern Illinois in the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship on Saturday, Dec. 4, before a crowd of 12,557 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
North Dakota State advanced to the FCS quarterfinals for the 12th straight year, where the Bison (11-1) will face No. 7 seed East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers (11-1) rallied from a 14-point deficit in the final 90 seconds to beat Kennesaw State 32-31 in the second round.
Williams averaged 6.6 yards on 17 carries for NDSU, which rushed for 389 yards and converted 9 of 13 third down attempts while controlling the time of possession for almost 38 minutes. Quarterback Quincy Patterson was NDSU’s second-leading rusher with 84 yards on seven carries including a 32-yard touchdown run.
North Dakota State scored on each of its first four possessions all on drives of nine or more plays. Southern Illinois only had the ball for 8:27 in the first half.
SIU pulled within 10-7 on the first play of the second quarter when Nic Baker connected with Landon Lenoir on a 22-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-1. The Bison responded with a 13-play, 65-yard scoring drive and got a three-and-out on defense before marching 63 yards in 11 plays for another touchdown to make it 24-7 before halftime.
NDSU opened the second half with 13 rushing plays on a 15-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by Williams’ second 1-yard TD run of the game.
SIU managed just 281 yards of total offense, its lowest total yardage against an FCS opponent this year. Baker went 23 of 32 passing for 220 yards and Javon Williams Jr. led the Salukis on the ground with eight carries for 42 yards.
Safety Michael Tutsie made a team-high seven tackles for North Dakota State and linebackers James Kaczor, Jackson Hankey and Nick Kubitz made six stops apiece. Defensive linemen Eli Mostaert, Brayden Thomas and Jake Kava each had sacks and the Bison recorded six tackles for loss altogether.
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