North Dakota State vs South Dakota State FCS National Championship Prediction Game Preview

North Dakota State vs South Dakota State prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. FCS National Championship, Sunday, January 8, 2023

North Dakota State vs South Dakota State FCS National Championship Prediction Game Preview

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North Dakota State vs South Dakota State How To Watch

Date: Sunday, January 8, 2023
Game Time: 2:00 ET
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
How To Watch: ABC
Record: North Dakota State (12-1), South Dakota State (13-1)
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North Dakota State vs South Dakota State FCS National Championship 5 Things To Know

Why NDSU & SDSU will win the FCS National Championship
FCS National Championship Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

North Dakota State is like UCLA basketball from 1964 to 1975. The Bruins won ten national championships in 11 years, and now North Dakota State has a shot to make it ten FCS football national championships in 12 seasons, and two in a row after thumping Montana State to win the 2021 national title.

South Dakota State had the team to get it done in 2020, but lost to Sam Houston 23-21 in the FCS Championship. However, it’s had the Bison’s number lately, winning three in a row with the 23-21 victory in mid-October turning out to decide the conference title – the first outright Missouri Valley championship for the Jackrabbits. They’ve never won an FCS national title.

CFN Final 2022 Rankings 1-131

South Dakota State might have an efficient and effective offense, but it gets the job done on defense. There’s a decent pass rush, but it’s the nation’s best run D that takes over games. It all works in perfect sync with this bunch – stop the run, force long third down opportunities, get off the field, let the O control the clock. It gave Iowa everything it could handle in a 7-3 loss to start the season – the Hawkeyes got two safeties and a field goal. and reeled off 13 straight after it.

CFN Experts Picks Georgia vs TCU, NDSU vs SDSU

North Dakota State lost at Arizona 31-28 to go along with the loss to the Jackrabbits. The defense is solid – that’s underselling it; it’s among the best in the nation, but not quite at SDSU’s level. The offense is a force – again.

The attack is explosive, balanced, and can run and run and run behind NFL prospect Cody Mauch at one tackle spot, guard Nash Jenson, and fullback Hunter Luepke – they’re all able to blast away.

In the first meeting, North Dakota State got out to a 21-7 lead at home, and then – after picking off the Bison in the end zone – it was all SDSU the rest of the way scoring 16 unanswered points on three Hunter Dustman field goals and a 16-yard Amar Johnson run. The Jackrabbit defense took over in the second half.

Why NDSU & SDSU will win the FCS National Championship
FCS National Championship Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

NEXT: Why North Dakota State & South Dakota State Will Win The FCS National Championship

Why North Dakota State Will Win The FCS National Championship

You mean besides winning the FCS National Championship for the last bazillion out of bazillion+2 years?

It’s not like the South Dakota State offense totally dominated in the first meeting. The defense took over in the second half, but it was a close fight after the Bison got up fast. Yes, the Jackrabbits have a killer D – the second best in the nation after Jackson State’s D, and that got ripped up in the Celebration Bowl – but North Dakota State can hold up just fine.

There’s enough of a pass rush to matter, the turnovers come in bunches, and the secondary is should come up with its share of stops. For all the great things SDSU QB Mark Granowski does – and he did pull of the win – he was held to 152 yards and just two rushing yards in the first meeting.

That’s why it’s the Bison offensive front that has to win this.

North Dakota State was held to a season-low 127 yards in the first meeting, but it also didn’t run enough. It was relatively effective when it was able to pound, but it only ran 27 times – somewhere around the 40s in the norm. What the Jackrabbits did do was control the clock in the second half.

The North Dakota State offensive line has to pave the way for at least 200 yards, it has to keep the clock moving, and the O needs the ball for more than ten minutes in the second half this time around.

But …

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Why South Dakota State Will Win The FCS National Championship

Almost no one is running on the South Dakota State defense.

Holy Cross was able to get the offense going late in the season in a 42-21 Jackrabbit win, but that was it. The Crusaders got to 261 rushing yards in the loss, but the 127 put up by North Dakota State were the second-most.

Iowa couldn’t get to 60 yards. Montana State was stuffed. Indiana State was the only other team to run for over 100 yards, and it got whacked by 42.

North Dakota State can’t count on the running game working any better than it did the first time around. The O line was good, the pass protection fantastic, and it still didn’t matter – the Jackrabbit offense was able to take over the game and control the tempo because the defense kept getting off the field.

South Dakota State will get even more out of the pass rush this time around, and the offense should still be able to keep the chains moving.

Yes, the Bison defense is great, and no, it won’t get gouged. But South Dakota State will be able to run a bit and should do a bit more controlling the clock.

That, and …

FCS National Championship Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, North Dakota State vs South Dakota State Prediction, FCS National Championship History

North Dakota State vs South Dakota State FCS National Championship, What’s Going To Happen

The North Dakota State passing game isn’t going to do quite enough to pull this out.

It picked up over the last few weeks, but there have also been turnovers. Not a ton, but if the O gives up two interceptions like it did against Incarnate Word and Montana, that could be enough to tip the scales.

No, you’re never, ever, ever wrong to assume North Dakota State will win an FCS National Championship – because it always does when it gets the chance – but South Dakota State’s defense will come through.

It’ll stop the Bison ground game from taking over, the team will be +2 in turnover margin, and the Jackrabbits will make it four in a row in the series – only this time with everything on the line.

North Dakota State vs South Dakota State FCS National Championship, Prediction, Line

CFN Prediction: South Dakota State 26, North Dakota State 23
Line: South Dakota State -4.5, o/u: 47.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
FCS National Championship Must See Rating (out of 5): 5
CFN Experts Picks Georgia vs TCU, NDSU vs SDSU

FCS National Championship History

2021 North Dakota State 38, Montana State 10
2020 Sam Houston 23, South Dakota State 21
2019 North Dakota State 28, James Madison 20
2018 North Dakota State 38, Eastern Washington 24
2017 North Dakota State 17, James Madison 13
2016 James Madison 28, Youngstown State 14
2015 North Dakota State 37, Jacksonville State 10
2014 North Dakota State 29, Illinois State 27
2013 North Dakota State 35, Towson 7
2012 North Dakota State 39, Sam Houston State 13
2011 North Dakota State 17, Sam Houston State 6
2010 Eastern Washington 20, Delaware 19
2009 Villanova 23, Montana 21
2008 Richmond 24, Montana 7
2007 Appalachian State 49, Delaware 21
2006 Appalachian State 28,UMass 17
2005 Appalachian State 21, UNI 16
2004 James Madison 31, Montana 21
2003 Delaware 40, Colgate 0
2002 Western Kentucky 34, McNeese State 14
2001 Montana 13, Furman 6
2000 Georgia Southern 27, Montana 25
1999 Georgia Southern 59, Youngstown State 24
1998 UMass 55, Georgia Southern 43
1997 Youngstown State 10, McNeese State 9
1996 Marshall 49, Montana 29
1995 Montana 22, Marshall 20
1994 Youngstown State 28, Boise State 14
1993 Youngstown State 17, Marshall 5
1992 Marshall 31, Youngstown State 28
1991 Youngstown State 25, Marshall 17
1990 Georgia Southern 36, Nevada 13
1989 Georgia Southern 37, Stephen F. Austin 34
1988 Furman 17, Georgia Southern 12
1987 ULM 43, Marshall 42
1986 Georgia Southern 48, Arkansas State 21
1985 Georgia Southern 44, Furman 42
1984 Montana State 19, Louisiana Tech 6
1983 Southern Illinois 43, Western Carolina 7
1982 Eastern Kentucky 17, Delaware 14
1981 Idaho State 34, Eastern Kentucky 23
1980 Boise State 31, Eastern Kentucky 29
1979 Eastern Kentucky 30, Lehigh 7
1978 Florida A&M 35, Massachusetts 28

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Story originally appeared on College Football News