The kings of the FCS were at it again on Saturday as the North Dakota State Bison once again knocked off a BCS opponent in dramatic fashion. North Dakota State crashed the party in Iowa as an upset over the No. 13 ranked Hawkeyes once again cemented the status of the Bison as the best school outside of the top division in college football.
After five straight wins over BCS schools, the Bison’s challenge against the Hawkeyes was to finally beat a top 25 opponent and a school that has been one of the best in the Big Ten in recent years. However, it was a challenge that North Dakota State answered despite the departure of the second overall NFL Draft pick in quarterback Carson Wentz.
Down 21-14 in the early stages of the fourth quarter, North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick led the Bison on a long eight-plus minute drive down the field to score a touchdown on a pass to Chase Morelock. It was also a touchdown in which the Bison would attempt a two-point conversion afterward as they rolled the dice in an attempt to take the lead. Even so, the Bison came up short as Stick would throw an incompletion on a play that the Hawkeyes shut down to hold a 21-20 lead with just over three minutes left to play.
Not to be outdone, the Bison forced a quick three and out to get the ball back with two minutes still left on the clock to work with. Stick took full advantage with a long run on the first play of the two-minute drill before completing a pass to RJ Urzendowski that gave North Dakota State the chance at a walk-off field goal to upset the No. 13 ranked Hawkeyes on the road.
With the opportunity of a lifetime, sophomore kicker Cam Pedersen made no mistake on his game-winning field goal attempt as a 37-yard field goal would give the Bison their first ever top 25 win against a BCS program. North Dakota State has now added another milestone to their list of accomplishments following five consecutive FCS National Championship victories.
As for Iowa, the upset puts a serious dent in their hopes to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff as the Hawkeyes will now have a loss to a FCS school on their résumé.