For the first time since the 2010 season, the NDSU Bison have lost 3 games in a season (7-3) and will not be in the FCS Football Semifinals. On Sunday the Bison fell to No. 2-seeded Sam Houston State 24-20 in a game that came down to the wire. NDSU was on the verge of potentially taking the lead with under a minute remaining in the game before the Bearkats made two defensive plays to turn the Bison over on downs.
In the game NDSU’s special teams did everything they could to try propelling the Bison to another FCS semifinals appearance. They blocked a punt for a safety, returned a kickoff for a touchdown, and even returned a punt for a touchdown! All that effort in the special teams department was fun to watch, but ultimately wasn’t quite enough to get NDSU a victory.
True freshman quarterback Cam Miller had his struggles in the game. Miller only completed 7 of 18 passes for 90 yards with two interceptions. He mishandled an exchange with a running back losing the football when pulling it away, and having to jump on it to save NDSU’s final possession of the game. That blown play set up a fourth-and 6 from the Sam Houston 21-yard line. On that play Miller overthrew tight end Noah Gindorff that would’ve given NDSU a first down, allowing the Bearkats to take a knee and advance to the semifinals.
One thing to keep in mind about Cam Miller is that he is a TRUE FRESHMAN. Miller originally wasn’t going to play until this season was moved from the fall to the spring. Even though it may not have looked pretty at times for Miller, these spring games helped put him in game situations that he wouldn’t have been in if they played this past fall season.
Once the dust settled at Sam Houston State, NDSU was -3 in the turnover battle and that played a large part in the loss. Head coach Matt Entz said, “It comes down to ball security. You can’t turn the ball over three times.”