The most powerful dynasty in FCS football faces a tough test as No.2 ranked North Dakota State plays Montana State with a national championship on the line this weekend. Bison has won eight National titles since 2011 and earned a trip to Frisco, Texas, after beating No. 3, No. 7 seed James Madison in East Tennessee and southern Illinois along the way. Bison coach Matt Entez is chasing his second National title in three seasons.
Montana State has had trips to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons and scored consecutive years of playoff wins for the first time in program history; However, the Bobcats haven’t played for a championship since their 19-6 victory over Louisiana Tech in 1984. Falling back was the star of the team, rushing for 1,539 yards and 10 touchdowns for a unanimous All-Big Sky honor.
North Dakota State actually finished the Bobcats’ last round of playoffs in 2019 in the national semifinals with a 42-14 win behind five first-round touchdowns chosen by Tre Lance. Will the result be different this time? Here’s how you can watch the FCS Championship match along with the must-know storylines.
Montana vs North Dakota: Need to know
All-time dynasty: Before Sam Houston knocked NDSU out during last year’s abridged spring season, the Bison won an unprecedented eight championships in nine years under the guidance of Craig Pohl, Chris Kleiman and now Intz. NDSU has also produced eight NFL picks since 2014, including two first-round quarterbacks Lance and Carson Wentz.
Training change: The Bobcats lost former coach Jeff Schwat before the 2021 season after he was appointed as the Texas Joint Defense Coordinator. Brent Vigen relied solely on Choate’s success, however, and he led the show into a 12-2 season and an appearance in the National Championship Match. Feigen played for North Dakota State in the 1990s and was a coach under Pohl from 2003 onwards, eventually taking on the responsibilities of assistant coach and offensive coordinator in 2017 in Wyoming. Now, he hopes to lead the Bobcats on his alma mater.
physical abuse: North Dakota State has produced its fair share of NFL quarterbacks, but the trenches are where the Bison really stands apart. Both frontman Cordell Foulson and Cody Mauch were named AP All-American after setting the stage for an offense averaging 372.6 yards for dash per game and 6.1 yards per carry. Montana State quarterback Troy Anderson earned an all-American honor of his own after posting 137 tackles and 14 tackles for a loss in a breakout campaign, but the Bobcats will have their hands full against the talented NDSU offensive front.
How to watch the FCS Championship live
Game: NCAA Division I FCS Championship Game
Date: Saturday January 8 | time: 12 p.m. Eastern time
Location: Toyota Stadium – Frisco, Texas
Television: ESPN2 | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)
Predicting the FCS Championship, picks
Featured game | North Dakota Bison vs. Montana State Bobcats
The Bobcats went through a rough road to the title game, but North Dakota State is an ultimate coach like no other in FCS football. The Bison never lost in Frisco, holding the 8-0 mark since the game moved to Texas. Montana State is up for a challenge, but NDSU has put up major battle tests for a team to appear in their first title game since 1984. Prediction: North Dakota (-7)