Jayden Price returned a 41-yard punt at the northern Iowa 9-yard line early in the third quarter, establishing a much-needed touchdown in NDSU’s 34-20 win at the Fargodome.
Bison led 13-10 at halftime, but only scored six points in three trips inside UNI 20. Jake Reinholz scored two baskets and missed another.
Price gave the offense a short field and the Bison didn’t waste the opportunity.
Price, a starting cornerback, took the kick from UNI punter Nate Murphy in the 50 after the Panthers stalled on the first practice of the second half. Price veered right and passed UNI to the edge, sprinting to 10 before being pulled down by Eric Mooney.
NDSU quarterback Quincy Patterson nibbled four yards in the end zone three games later for a touchdown, giving the Bison a 20-10 lead.
“It definitely motivated me,” Patterson said of the punt return.
North Dakota State quarterback Quincy Patterson walks away from Northern Iowa’s Alfonzo Lambert for a touchdown at the Fargodome on Saturday, October 9, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
UNI’s next possession ended with a fumble from quarterback Theo Day which was picked up by NDSU defensive tackle Costner Ching. Patterson hit tight end Noah Gindorff on a short touchdown pass and the Bisons were leading 27-10 with 9:02 left in the third quarter.
“It was kind of a big back-to-back momentum change,” Ching said.
It looked like northern Iowa safety Benny Sapp III had hit NDSU wide receiver Christian Watson with a helmet-to-helmet hit after a big pass in the first quarter, which could be seen as a targeting call. This would have resulted in an ejection from the match for Sapp and an advantageous penalty for the Bison.
But it was not. Twice.
Officials on the ground did not call Sapp for targeting and a video replay confirmed the call.
MVFC Associate Commissioner Mike Kern wrote in an email: “League staff would not provide any statements regarding officiating during a match, and we would not comment on a judgment call at any time. officials Bill Carollo and his staff at the Chicago Command Center examine exhibits of this nature and provide any necessary follow-up to participating institutions. ”
Facing second and 11 from UNI 49, Patterson hit Watson in the middle with a pass. Watson caught him at the Panthers 21 and ran to the 11, where he was tackled by a pair of UNI defenders. As Watson fell, Sapp shot and hit the Bison receiver in the head with his helmet.
North Dakota State Head Coach Matt Entz questions the call of a helmet to helmet on wide receiver Christian Watson at the Fargodome on Saturday, October 9, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
According to university rules, targeted hits include “leading with a helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forced contact to the head or neck” and “Lower the head before attacking by initiating forced contact with the crown of the helmet.” College rules also protect “defenseless” players.
The rulebook says, “When there is a question, a player is helpless.”
NDSU practice stalled at the 9-yard line and the Bison settled for a 27-yard field goal from Jake Reinholz for a 10-0 lead.
“The message I got was it wasn’t on target,” Bison head coach Matt Entz said. “I totally agree, I don’t think he was a helpless player, but I saw his head bow and I know it is the rule. It is what it is . These guys are human too. “
NDSU linebacker James Kaczor missed his third game of the season and Entz said this time it wasn’t a groin injury that plagued him in the past, but “linked” to the injury. . However, the NDSU didn’t see much of a decline, with second student Cole Wisnewski taking his place.
Wisnewski had six tackles, a quarterback sack and a rushed QB.
When asked when Kaczor would revisit how he plans to bring Wisnewski into the lineup, Entz said: “We will find ways.”
“You see us, we use everyone,” Entz said. “It’s mass chaos on the sidelines that gets people in and out. We’ll find ways to use it. When James is back, I hope he doesn’t have to play every snap. , we will be able to achieve both their longer life throughout the year because we can split some reps. “
Wisnewski said he found out earlier this week that he would likely receive the call.
“I had a lot of time to improve,” he said. “I made a lot of mistakes in training but got better over the week.”
Matt Entz of North Dakota State and Mark Farley of Northern Iowa shake hands after the game at the Fargodome on Saturday, October 9, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley was unhappy with his team’s mistakes against the Bison, which included nine penalties for 77 yards. The Panthers got off to a false start in their first start after a Bison fumble in the first quarter. This ultimately led to a punt.
UNI added another false start in the opening practice of the third quarter which also ended in a quick three-and-out, which led to Price’s punt return.
“It has to come from within the players not to accept these penalties because they are unacceptable,” said Farley. “You can’t afford to do that when you’re playing up there.”
Farley added that his team have not played in a disciplined manner at key points against the Bison.
“You look at our attack, we can throw the ball, we can rush the football,” Farley said. “We just weren’t disciplined and the penalties absolutely killed us and it stopped our practice and it actually killed our first practice in the first set.… We didn’t have the discipline in attack. We didn’t. I didn’t have the discipline in defense because those cover failures were discipline. Those mistakes are what created the win, technically. “
North Dakota State’s Jake Kava (54) and Will Mostaert take on Iowa north quarterback Theo Day to force a fumble at the Fargodome on Saturday, October 9, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
UNI quarterback Theo Day could wake up a bit sore on Sunday morning. Bison’s defensive line has put constant pressure on the Michigan State transfer all day, sacking him five times and wearing him multiple times.
NDSU did so without starting defensive ends Brayden Thomas and Spencer Waege. Thomas is out with an elbow injury and Waege is out for the year with an ACL tear. The Bison found a cure by moving defensive tackle Will Mostaert at the end. He had a sack and a forced fumble which Ching tried to retrieve and score.
Ching was tackled at the UNI 21-yard line. The NDSU capitalized on a 3-yard pass to Noah Gindorff and it was 27-10 in the third quarter.
“The guys who have come up in the defensive room in particular, it’s fun to watch them because they had their chance and took advantage of it,” said Ching. “It’s fun to see them catch their ears and chase. The defense has a few tweaks to do, but I like where we are right now.”
Five different players had quarterback sacks: Mostaert, Wisnewski, Lane Tucker, Javier Derritt and Logan McCormick.
Logan McCormick of North Dakota state celebrates the sack of Iowa north quarterback Theo Day at the Fargodome on Saturday, October 9, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
As expected, Bison’s starting center Jalen Sundell did not dress due to a knee injury. He was replaced by sophomore Brandon Westberg, who played against North Dakota when Sundell was injured in the first half of that game. … Defensive end Brayden Thomas, who injured his elbow against UND, did not dress. … NDSU linebacker Luke Weerts did not dress for the second game in a row. … Entz said his team had bumps and bruises from the game “but nothing worries me too much”.