North Dakota State’s football team is favored to beat tiny Wofford College by 20 points on Saturday in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals, according to the betting Web site 5dimes. The Bison are the No. 2 seed, the Terriers No. 7 and the game is being played at the Fargodome, where fans have been known to make life miserable for opposing offenses.
“They play in a facility, quite frankly, where you’re down two touchdowns before you start the game because of the crowd,” Wofford coach Mike Ayers told me Tuesday in an interview for my 970 WDAY radio show that will air Wednesday morning. “You have to overcome a lot.”
So, maybe 20 points might be the final spread. Or maybe that could be a little generous.
If you go by what happened the last time these two programs played, you’d have to go with the latter.
A very talented NDSU team, with the core group in the middle of winning three straight national championships (and eventually five overall), won that game 14-7 and had to hang on for dear life in the fourth quarter to do it. The same type of game could easily unfold this weekend.
Yes, yes, we know. The Bison and Terriers played that game five years ago and there are no players left from those teams and that game has nothing to do with what’s going to happen Saturday.
Fair enough, but there are enough similarities between the programs, the schemes they run and the types of athletes on the field to draw a general comparison. The Terriers still run the triple-option and still play strong defense.