FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Bruce Anderson scored five touchdowns — four in the first half — and North Dakota State rolled up 642 yards offense in crushing Sam Houston State 55-13 on Friday night to advance to the FCS championship game.
The second-seeded Bison will face the winner of Saturday's game between defending champion James Madison and NDSU's Missouri Valley Football Conference rival South Dakota State on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas. James Madison ended the Bison's run of five straight national championships with a semifinal victory last season and the Jackrabbits, second to the Bison in the MVFC, beat North Dakota State 33-21 at home on Nov. 4.
Friday night's game was essentially over at halftime after North Dakota State scored touchdowns on six of its seven offensive possessions. The half ended on the Bearkats' third turnover, an interception by Tre Dempsey, who also made a fumble recovery.
Sixth-seeded Sam Houston State (12-2) came in with the leading offense in the FCS, averaging over 45 points and 552 yards offense. But the Bearkats were squelched by the Bison, finishing with 352 yards but only 176 in the pivotal first half.
Sam Houston was seeking to advance to its third FCS title game with hopes of winning its first championship, and the first for the Southland Conference. Instead, NDSU increased its series lead to 5-1, including four straight wins in playoff meetings.