The North Dakota State University Bison scored on the first drive of the 2012 season and did not look back as they won big in the season opener against the Robert Morris Colonials 52-0.
FARGO - The Bison kicked off the 2012 season and defense of their National Championship against Robert Morris on Saturday, September 1 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. The Bison would win going away, dismantling Robert Morris from start to finish with a 52-0 victory.
The Bison took the ball down the field on the first possession of the game and scored on a 1-yard throw from junior quarterback Brock Jensen to junior tight end Taylor Nelson to cap off a 10-play 76-yard drive and give NDSU a 7-0 lead.
The Bison defense was stellar in the first quarter, holding Robert Morris scoreless and even creating a turnover when sophomore safety Christian Dudzik intercepted a pass from sophomore quarterback Matt Layman.
On the first play of the second half, junior running back Sam Ojuri fumbled the ball on the Robert Morris 7-yard line. The Colonials couldn’t do anything with the turnover as the Bison "D" held them to a three-and-out that included a sack from junior defensive lineman Ryan Drevlow.
On the ensuing drive, sophomore John Crockett made his presence felt with a spectacular 26-yard run for a touchdown to up the Bison lead to 14-0. The Bison defense continued to perform at a high level, holding Robert Morris to punts on two consecutive drives.
On NDSU’s second to last offensive drive of the first half, they received a 24-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Adam Keller to make it 17-0. The Bison defense continued to impress as they forced Robert Morris into four punts during the second quarter.
NDSU newcomer senior Andre Martin made a big hit on the kick return to open up the second half. The Bison defense took that momentum and made Robert Morris punt after just three offensive plays.
Much like the first half, the Bison scored on the first offensive drive of the second half to make it 24-0. The six play 46-yard drive was capped off with a 7-yard run from Ojuri. On the second offensive drive of the half for NDSU, Jensen found junior Ryan Smith on a 34-yard bomb for Smith’s first collegiate receiving touchdown, making it 31-0.
Robert Morris was showing a little life on offense until sophomore linebacker Travis Beck stripped the ball from senior wide out Rickeem Jackson and the Bison defense recovered the loose ball. On the ensuing drive, Jensen picked apart the defense, tossing an 11-yard touchdown to sophomore Trevor Gebhart to increase the lead to 38-0.
That was the last pass that Jensen would throw on the night as freshman Carson Wentz took over on the next offensive drive for NDSU. Wentz would lead the Bison offense to inside the five yard line on his first drive before the end of the third quarter.
Junior running back Derrick Lang would cap off the drive with a short one yard run to increase the already sizable lead to 45-0. The first offensive play of the fourth quarter for Robert Morris resulted in a fumble recovered by sophomore linebacker Carlton Littlejohn.
The Bison would take that turnover and turn it into six, capping off a 10 play, 55-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak from Wentz, making it 52-0 NDSU. This would end up being the final as NDSU would close out the game playing most of their second and third stringers.
The Bison will travel to Fort Collins, Colo. to take on Colorado State University on Saturday, September 8. The Rams are coming off a win against rival Colorado University. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. CT and can be hear on the Mighty 790 KFGO.