It’s #1 vs. #2 Saturday in Fargo

October 12, 2022

FARGO, N.D.–The Dakota Marker is on the line Saturday when No. 1-ranked North Dakota State hosts second-ranked South Dakota State in a battle of Missouri Valley Football Conference unbeatens. Both teams are 3-0 in the league and 5-1 overall with their only losses coming against FBS opponents. Game time is 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome (18,700).

THE SERIES: This is the 113th meeting between North Dakota State and South Dakota State dating back to 1903. NDSU leads the all-time series 63-44-5, but SDSU has won two straight including a 27-19 win in Brookings last November. The Bison are 16-3 against SDSU in the Fargodome since 1993. The Jackrabbits’ three wins in the Fargodome are the most by any FCS opponent and came by a total of 13 points in 2020-21 (27-17), 2016 (19-17) and 2008 (25-24).

DAKOTA MARKER: NDSU and SDSU have played for the Dakota Marker since 2004, the first year of Division I competition for both schools. The Bison have a 10-8 edge in the annual game; postseason games are not included. The trophy is a 75-pound model replica of the original quartzite monuments that were 7 feet long and 10 inches square and placed at half-mile intervals along the state border in 1891 and 1892.

HIGHLY RANKED: This is the eighth straight meeting between NDSU and SDSU with both teams ranked in the Top 10 of the Football Championship Subdivision, but it is the first matchup as No. 1 and No. 2 and the first 1-2 matchup in Fargodome history. NDSU has hosted the No. 2 team in the FCS polls four times — twice in the regular season against Northern Iowa (2011) and North Dakota (2020-21) and twice in the postseason against Georgia Southern (2011) and James Madison (2021). The Bison are 8-1 against FCS top-two ranked opponents.
LAST YEAR: Pierre Strong Jr. rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns including a 75-yard run on the second play of the game to set the tone for South Dakota State’s 27-19 win over North Dakota State last year in Brookings. Strong also passed for a touchdown and Cole Frahm kicked 32- and 45-yard field goals as SDSU built a 27-7 lead midway through the third quarter. NDSU quarterback Cam Miller had a career-high 277 yards of total offense rushing 13 times for 59 yards and going 15-for-23 passing for 218 yards. The Bison closed within 27-19 on Jake Reinholz‘s 33-yard field goal with 1:09 left in the game, but SDSU recovered the ensuing onside kick and kneeled out the clock for the win.

DOME VISITOR SUCCESS: No FCS team has won in the Fargodome more than South Dakota State, which has three wins in the dome (2008, 2016, 2020-21) since the Bison and Jackrabbits began Division I play in 2004. Youngstown State (2009, 2011) and Western Illinois (2008, 2010) are the only other FCS teams to win more than once in the Fargodome. North Dakota, NDSU’s opponent for the regular-season finale on Nov. 19, has the most opponent victories with four wins (1994, 1996, 1998, 2002) since NDSU’s first Fargodome season in 1993.