UPSET CITY: North Dakota St tops No. 13 Iowa on final play

No matter the projections, the defending Big Ten West champions should not overlook North Dakota State.

Still, Ferentz knows better than to sleep on a program that he and his players compared more to Wisconsin and Michigan State than any of the FCS teams they've faced recently.

Located in Fargo, NDSU was established in 1890. Five national championships in a row, that's awfully impressive.

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"Their fans are a lot like Iowa fans". They beat Kansas in 2010, Minnesota in 2011, Colorado State in 2012, Kansas State in 2013 and Iowa State in 2014.

Iowa defensive lineman Nathan Bazata (99) chases North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa.

North Dakota State is now 6-0 against Power 5 schools since 2010 with the 23-21 win. Now go back to the kiddie table because the adults are talking football. Stick is also a real threat to tuck the ball down and run, and has over 100 yards and a rushing touchdown so far this year. The leader of the Bison attack has combined for 556 total yards (451 passing and 105 rushing) and five total touchdowns in his team's first two games. Not with teams like the Bison, or UNI, or Illinois State. Dakota's offensive line averages almost 305 pounds and has been a catalyst for the running game. The Bison outrushed Iowa 239-24 and kept the defense on the field for 36:40. Iowa's objective this week remains unchanged from its previous two games - find a way to win.

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That being said, I think Iowa is going to roll in this one.

This game will definitely test the Bison, and will likely be their biggest test. Against FCS competition. CJ Beathard will be the best quarterback NDSU will face all year. On the ground, LeShun Daniels Jr. rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown in 15 attempts while Akrum Wadley had 49 yards and a touchdown in 9 attempts. Unfortunately for the Bison, that is an area where the Hawkeyes excel at the FBS level. Unless Iowa suddenly starts making dumb mistakes and turning the ball over, the offense should have a field day. The University of Iowa came in the 11th-ranked team in the FBS. Talent-wise, the Bison are a MAC contender, not a Big Ten contender. Last week in a 50-44 overtime shootout against Eastern Washington, that hand belonged to Waterloo native Lance Dunn.

Iowa appears to have the proper focus and mindset going into the game, despite this being an FCS opponent.

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The journey may be long, but Bison fans say the trek always seems to be worth it.


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