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North Dakota State @ Illinois State, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill--I am in Normal today with this matchup that will decide the Missouri Valley Football Conference autobid. Hancock Stadium is going through a renovation where the east side of the field is completely empty with cement starting to be poured for the foundation of the new side seating. Capacity this year is just 7,700 with seating just on the west and south sides of the field that runs north to south.

It is the winner take all in this match-up with the winner likely getting a seed in the playoffs. NDSU being ranked #1 right now in the GPI and Illinois State ranked #6.

Both of these teams should see their name come up in the 20-field playoff announcement tomorrow but this game will mean a lot for home field advantage. Although if South Dakota State wins today, there would be a three way tie and NDSU would get the Autobid given the three way tie.

NDSU comes into this game with a 3-2 series advantage. NDSU won in Fargo last year 20-10 in a closely contested matchup.

I think this game will be key to what team can win the line of scrimmage. Both teams like to run the ball first. Turnovers will also play a key role into the game. NDSU's quarterback Brock Jensen has turned the ball over several times in the past couple games. Defenses on NDSU seem to be falling eight men back to the cover the passing game and this has caused confusion on the offense and led to a number of the interceptions he has thrown. In total, Jensen has thrown 7 interceptions.

Illinois State's Matt Brown has been also inconsistent especially in ISU's two losses to Missouri State and Southern Illinois. In total, he has thrown 10 picks on the season

I think NDSU will come out on top of this game. Their defense has won the games basically the past two weeks. I think the NDSU offense will get back on track before they head to the playoffs and will use the running game to do so.

This will likely still be a low scoring game as ISU also has a strong defense.

We shall see and I look forward to this game as this should give both teams a good test before both enter the postseason.

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Updated 11-17-2012 at 02:24 PM by rwallace

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  1. Kent's Avatar
    Illinois State has won the coin toss and chosen to defer to the second half so NDSU will get the ball to begin the game.
  2. Kent's Avatar
    NDSU's Devoon Dinwiddie returns a short kickoff but gets just to the NDSU 20.
  3. Kent's Avatar
    Sam Ojuri gets two on the first down play.

    Jensen hits Trevor Gebhart on the catch for seven.

    3rd &1 from 29. Ojuri gets the first down for a gain of three.

    1st & 10 at the NDSU 32.
  4. Kent's Avatar
    Ojuri gets just one on first down.

    2nd & 9. Ryan Smith gets a pass from Jensen but it was behind him, incompletel

    3rd & 9 from the NDSU 33. Jensen is sacked on the play for a loss of 8. Punting time for the Bison.

    4th & 17. The punt goes out of bounds at the ISU 40. We have 11:17 left in the opening quarter.
  5. Kent's Avatar
    Lechein Neblett gets nine on a pass from Matt Brown to the ISU 49.

    Darrelynn Dunn gets five on the 2nd down play to get the Redbird first down at the NDSU 46.
  6. Kent's Avatar
    Dunn gets five on the 1st down play.

    2nd & 5 from the 41. Brown hits his tight end James O'Shanughnessy for six to the NDSU 35.
  7. Kent's Avatar
    Brown gets six on the first down play to the NDSU 29 on a qb keeper.

    And does it again on 2nd down for another ISU first down with a gain of nine to the NDSU 20.

    ISU goes hurry up and Brown's pass is not well thrown to get and down play.

    Phil Dudley gets nothing on a screen pass to the left.

    3rd & 10 from the NDSU 20. Neblett gets a screen pass to the right and makes some nice moves to get the first down to the NDSU 9.
  8. Kent's Avatar
    Dunn gets four on the 1st & goal play to the NDSU 5.

    2nd & goal. Brown hits TE Jordan Neukrich for the Redbird touchdown. PAT from Nick Aussieker is good.

    ISU 7 NDSU 0 with 6:00 left in the opening quarter.
  9. Kent's Avatar
    Huge TD for the Redbirds.

    The ISU kickoff is returned by Marcus Williams from the goalline and only gets to the NDSU 15.
  10. Kent's Avatar
    John Crockett gets just one up the middle on first down.

    Crockett gets a big game to the left out to the NDSU 32 on second down.
  11. Kent's Avatar
    Jensen play action pass and over shoots Andrew Okland.

    2nd & 10 from the 32, Jensen with a qb keeper and gets four.

    3rd & 6 from the NDSU 36. Jensen overthrows Smith and will set up another NDSU punt.
  12. Kent's Avatar
    The punt from Ben LeCompte is not returned at the ISU 21.

    We have 3:33 left in the 1st qtr with ISU leading 7-0.
  13. Kent's Avatar
    ISU has had two big pass plays to get to the NDSU 23.

    Brown has an incompletion and a keeper to set up a 3rd & 3 at the NDSU 16.
  14. Kent's Avatar
    ISU's 3rd down pass is incomplete but ISU does get a 33 yard field goal from Nick Aussieker to put ISU up 10-0 with 1:41 left in the 1st qtr.
  15. Kent's Avatar
    NDSU answers right back with Marcus Williams on a 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

    Adam Keller's PAT is good. NDSU cuts into the ISU lead.

    ISU 10 NDSU 7 with 1:25 left in the 1st qtr.
  16. Kent's Avatar
    That is just what NDSU needed in this game. They needed something to get a spark and this did just that.

    ISU's kickoff is returned just to the ISU 18.
  17. Kent's Avatar
    Dunn gets two on first down to the ISU 20.

    2nd & 8. Brown gets four on the qb keeper. That is the last play of the first qtr.

    ISU will have 3rd & 4 from the ISU 24 when the 2nd qtr begins.
  18. Kent's Avatar
    3rd & 4. Donovan Harden gets the first down on a reverse, although it looked like he got a very favorable spot to get the ISU first down at the 28.

    Dunn gets nothing and nearly fumbles on the next play.

    Brown's 2nd down pass is batted by Christain Duztak

    3rd & 10. ISU gets nine from Dudley but ISU will have to punt and goes out of bounds at the NDSU 17.

    We have 12:57 left in the 2nd qtr with ISU leading 10-7.
  19. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 from the 17. Jensen hits Smith for 16.

    1st & 10 at the NDSU 33. Dinwiddie gets eight on the first down run.

    2nd & 2 from the NDSU 41. Zach Vraa with the catch for an NDSU first down with a gain of 7.
  20. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the NDSU 48. Ojuri gets a huge 47 yard gain to the ISU 5.
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