Congratulations as well to Sam Houston State on a remarkable season. It's a disappointing way to finish, but getting to 14-0 and playing for a national championship should not be overlooked and the whole Bearkat family should have their heads held high.
We say goodbye to the 2011-12 FCS season and can't wait until next season comes, some eight and a half months from now.
Safe travels to everyone down in Frisco and we'll see everyone back on the live blogs next year!
Congratulations to North Dakota State on its first FCS/Division I football championship. I said going in that I thought the Bison defense would be the difference, and it has been.
It's hard to think of a defense having a better playoff run than what the Bison did in successive games against Lehigh, Georgia Southern and Sam Houston State. Three of the best offensive teams in the country and they never had a chance against the North Dakota State defense. Just an incredible playoff run and hats off to coach Bohl and everyone associated with the program.
bell tries to go deep down the right side, but it's picked off, and with under three minutes to play and a 17-6 lead, it's just a matter of time for the Bison.
Sam Houston State only has one more timeout and so it will soon be time to party in Frisco and back home in Fargo.
This Bearkat offense is not built to come back by chucking the ball all over the place. They want to run the ball. North Dakota State can really pin their ears back in the pass rush if Sammy is going to stop trying to run.
THree and out again for Sammy. Time starting to run short.
Larson keeps it himself on first down and it's touchdown Bison! Extra point makes it 17-6 and North Dakota State is 8:46 away from their first Division I national championship.
Third and 13 from the 48 and Bell forces one over the middle and Travis Beck intercepts! Lots of space in front of him and he takes it all the way down to the one yard line! First and goal for North Dakota State and a chance to put a big touchdown on the board to take control of the game.
Big pickup on third down for the Bearkats as Bell hits Williams again and he takes it into Bison territory.
Bearkat defense does it's job though and forces a three and out. Bison now 1-10 on third down. Neither team doing much in terms of converting in big spots. Defenses firmly in control. SHSU takes it back over with 11+ minutes to play.
BIson defense reasserting itself again as the Bearkats aren't finding much room to work with on offense. Punt goes back to NDSU.
Slippery moves from Williams to pick up a big first down to get the Bearkats some room to work with as the third quarter comes to a close. 10-6 still as we head to the fourth with the title on the line!
Bearkats just outside their own endzone. Offensive lineman jumps off but can't really go much farther back.
Bell goes deep down the right sideline for Diller on third down but it falls incomplete. Bearkats to punt from their end zone. Decent kick and Bison will start from their own 45.
Safety blitz from the Bearkats on third-and-8 and Jensen makes a dangerous throw again with a soft lob to the left flat. Incomplete and Bison will punt.
Another great punt and downed beautifully insider the one by NDSU! Great special teams play in the kicking game continued for the boys from Fargo.
Ojuri with the run of the day on first down. Looked trapped for a big loss in the backfield but a couple of nifty moves got him free and then he carried a couple of defenders for the first down and more. 15 yard pickup for the youngster.
Flanders stopped short again on 3rd and 2 and Bearkats will go for it on 4th down again from the 29.
Stopped cold by the Bison! For the second time in the game, the NDSU defense comes up huge on 4th and short around the 30 in their own territory.
Sammy rolls the dice on 4th and inches at midfield and Flanders fights for the first down. Aggressive call by the coaches but it pays off.
We saw it happen a number of times to the CAA teams in the playoffs, but you can't kick the ball out of bounds. It's a field position killer, but NDSU just did it. First down at the 40 for the Bearkats.
On the first NDSU drive, the third down blitz pressured Jensen and he flinched in a way he didn't in the first quarter. The hit that hurt him in the first half has clearly rattled him a bit.
Fake punt! Big pickup by the kicker!
First play a middle screen to McNorton and he goes almost untouched to the house! 39 yards for a Bison touchdown. Wow! What a turnaround after the fake punt. The largely partisan crowd for SHSU is shocked by the quick strike. 10-6 Bison.
stupid Loopy Holdz in halftimr........ shutup and lay in bed after your meds
Intersting first half with the defenses seeming to be in control for the most part. Two turnovers and the blocked punt for the Bison really were the difference in the 6-3 lead. If Jensen can't get right at halftime, North Dakota state will be in trouble because the offense really looked ragged for much of the second quarter.
NDSU controlled the run of play early but the goalline stand by the Bearkats really seemed to halt the Bison momentum and SHSU played a lot more confidently after that.
Top two scoring defenses doing their jobs for the most part. Sam Houston seemed to be finding some openings on offense as the half progressed so we'll see if they can build on that in the second half.
Bison try to get something going but Jensen is really off and Bearkat defense is playing aggressively right now. Stopped on third down and Sammy uses last timeout with 14 seconds left to force another punt.
Bearkats sellout for the block but another booming kick should take us to the half.
And it does as SHSU takes a knee.