NDSU Gets Back in Win Column Against Illinois State, 24-7

Destin Talbert
Destin Talbert(KVLY)
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 7:33 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) - Fourth-ranked North Dakota State got back in the win column with a 24-7 victory over Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Football Conference on Saturday, Oct. 29, before a crowd of 16,172 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

It was NDSU’s 38th straight win after an open week in the regular season or postseason dating back to 2005. The Bison improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the MVFC, while Illinois State slipped to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the conference.

NDSU quarterback Cam Miller completed passes to nine different receivers and went 20 of 30 for 174 yards. His 20-yard touchdown to fullback Hunter Luepke tied the game 7-7 late in the first quarter and Griffin Crosa’s 29-yard field goal gave the Bison a 10-7 halftime lead.

After halftime, North Dakota State’s defense allowed only one first down in four Illinois State possessions and the Redbirds only crossed midfield once reaching the Bison 48.

Safety Dawson Weber made a team-high eight tackles for NDSU and linebacker Logan Kopp had seven tackles including one tackle for loss making his first career start in place of injured starter James Kaczor.

Illinois State went ahead 7-0 on its second possession of the game with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by Zack Annexstad’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Sobkowicz.

NDSU cornerback Destin Talbert ended the only other Illinois State threat with an interception at the NDSU 11 late in the second quarter. Talbert’s 37-yard return to near midfield put the Bison in position to score in the final two minutes of the first half.

Miller added a 4-yard rushing TD in the third quarter and backup quarterback Cole Payton scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter.

North Dakota State is on the road for its next two games beginning with a trip to Western Illinois next Saturday, Nov. 5. The Leathernecks (0-8, 0-5 MVFC) have lost 10 straight games after a 64-14 loss at Missouri State.