FARGO — No upset this time.
North Dakota State never gave NCAA Division II Ferris State a chance to pull off a shocker, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and coasting to a 56-10 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday.
Quarterback Brock Jensen ran for a score and threw two touchdown passes for the top-ranked Bison.
NDSU rolled up 426 yards of total offense, including 264 through the air.
“I’m proud that we came out and played well,” said NDSU coach Craig Bohl, who tied Rocky Hager for all-time coaching wins at NDSU with 90. “We have to keep improving. Some things aren’t always going to go great. It’s amazing that I’m upset when I look at the scoreboard and it’s 56-10.”
Knowing the dangers that a lower-division team can pose, the Bison took the excitement out of it early by scoring three times in the first quarter and taking a 35-7 lead at the half.
Jensen was an efficient 19-for-23 for 259 yards before giving way to Century graduate Carson Wentz in the second half. He capped the opening drive with a 1-yard run and threw strikes of 43 and 4 yards.
Sam Ojuri led the Bison in rushing with 50 yards on 12 carries. He scored on a 2-yard run in the third quarter.
John Crockett added 44 yards and scored on runs of 7 and 5 yards.
“Our offense played very well tonight,” Bohl said. “There were some things we got a little sloppy on. You’re always concerned with that after a big win.”
NDSU opened the game with a second straight 80-yard touchdown drive. It polished off the Kansas State game with an 80-yard drive that led to the win.
Jensen capped the drive with a 1-yard run that ignited a three-touchdown first quarter. Crockett scored his first touchdown and Jensen hit Zach Vraa from 43 yards.
Vraa was the game’s top receiver with 100 yards on four catches.
Crockett’s 5-yard run and Jensen’s 4-yard toss to fullback Andrew Grothmann put the Bison up 35-0 with 2:41 to play in the half. It was the first touchdown of the senior’s college career.
Ferris State got on the board with eight seconds left in the second quarter on a 19-yard Jason Vander Laan-to-Dewayne Boston fade pass. The seven-play, 75-yard drive was helped by a personal foul penalty on NDSU’s Bryn Shepherd that led to the defensive back’s ejection.
The Bulldogs’ only other score was a Austin Kantola’s 25-yard field goal.
Vander Laan completed 7 of 14 passes for 56 yards. Taylor Masiewicz was 7-for-14 for 59 yards. Both threw an interception.
The Bulldogs had 228 yards on the ground, with Vander Laan gaining 100 yards on 18 carries.
Bison defender Grant Olson made life miserable with 14 tackles and a sack.
The win was NDSU’s 15th straight in its home-openers.
Ferris State 0 7 3 0 — 10
NDSU 21 14 7 14 — 56
NDSU — Brock Jensen 1 run (Adam Keller kick), 9:49.
NDSU — John Crockett 7 run (Keller kick), 3:50
NDSU — Zach Vraa 43 pass from Jensen (Keller kick), :29
NDSU — Crockett 5 run (keller kick), 13:30.
NDSU — Andrew Grothmann 4 pass from Jensen (Keller kick), 2:41.
FSU — Dewayne Boston 19 pass from Jason Vander Laan (Austin Kantola kick), :08.
FSU — Kantola 25 FG, 8:07.
NDSU — Sam Ojuri 2 run (Keller kick), 2:59.
NDSU — Chase Morlock 9 run (Keller kick), 5:18.
NDSU — Zach Colvin 44 interception return (Keller kick), 3:33.
First downs 21 20
Rushing-Yards 47-228 34-162
Passing Yards 115 264
Com-Att-Int 14-29-2 20-26-1
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Punts-Average 3-40 1-37
Penalties-Yards 7-37 2-20
RUSHING: FSU — Jason Vander Laan 18-100, Kitwana Clark 9-45, Taylor Masiewicz 6-23, Antonio Agurs 3-15, Dontae Ingraham 2-14, Korey Ringer 4-12, Jamaal Jackson 4-11, Phil Annese 1-8. NDSU — Sam Ojuri 12-50, John Crockett 8-44, Chase Morlock 7-39, Carson Wentz 1-13, Darius Anderson 2-6, Brock Jensen 2-4, Ryan Smith 1-4, Eric Perkins 1-2.
PASSING: FSU — Vander Laan 7-14-1, 56 yards; Masiewicz 7-14-1, 59 yards; Trevor Bermingham 0-1-0. NDSU — Jensen 19-23-1, 259 yards; Wentz 1-3-0, 5 yards.
RECEIVING: FSU — Annese 3-21, Jace Heneve;d 2-18, Ingraham 2-15, Agurs 2-9, Dewayne Boston 1-19, Torico Searcy 1-14, Clark 1-8, Damien Ross 1-6, Josh Liske 1-5. NDSU — Ryan Smith 6-56, Zach Vraa 4-100, Eric Perkins 2-43, Nate Moody 2-18, Taylor Nelson 2-5, Andrew Bonnet 1-29, Luke Albers 1-5, Trevor Gebhart 1-4, Andrew Grothmann 1-4.