Iowa State jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in front of a sold out Jack Trice crowd, but lost several starters to injury and were run over by the Bison, 34-14. The game marks NDSU's 25th win in a row, setting the new FCS record.
The much-discussed Mark Mangino offense appeared to be working for the first quarter, even after starting Free Safety Kamari Cotton-Moya was ejected five minutes into the first quarter on a targeting call that, upon replay, looked like shoulder-to-shoulder contact. But it did provide us with our first great Paul Rhoads reaction .gif of the season:
Not long after this, Tom Farniok went down with a knee injury, and the offense never recovered. Just after the Cyclones went up 14-0, the Bison rattled off an 80-yard run to kill the momentum. A pair of tipped Sam Richards interceptions and the loss of Quenton Bundrage to yet another early injury, and the Cyclones suddenly found themselves down 17-14 at halftime.
Any hope of a comeback was slowly snuffed out in the grind-it-out second half, one right-side off-tackle run at a time. On defense, the Bison exploited the loss of the one and only beefcastle to continuously harrass Sam Richardson for the rest of the day. On offense, the Bison used the subtle but effective battering ram approach, constantly crashing into the same spot on the right side of the lfield over and over, and much like last year against Kansas State, NDSU was able to grind out the clock to secure a 34-14 victory.
The Bison deserve a lot of credit - they're a hell of a team and as badly as they're destroying the competition in FCS it wouldn't be crazy to see them make the jump to FBS. But that doesn't make this loss hurt any less. Nothing gives the season a downright sense of forboding quite like an FCS loss.