Bison Media Blog: Cody Mauch's first down slide against Montana State a national hit

Bison left tackle continues to come up with different versions of signaling a first down.

North Dakota State offensive lineman Cody Mauch, right, slides to signal a first down during the NCAA Division I FCS national championship game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Frisco, Texas.
David Samson / The Forum
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FRISCO, Texas – There is the “The Pitch” that is saturated in Bison football lore, the famous horizontal option flip in 1985 from quarterback Jeff Bentrim. Cornerback Destin Talbert did his best with a one-handed interception in the FCS semifinal against James Madison with a “Pick of Destiny.”

Now we may have “The Slide.”

The last one is more of the comical nature when North Dakota State left tackle Cody Mauch, in trailing a first down run by quarterback Cam Miller, slid on the wet grass of Toyota Stadium and did his signature first down call. It came on NDSU’s opening drive in the 38-10 title game victory over Montana State.

“They just come to me as they happen,” Mauch said, “and I guess that’s why they’re so cool, I guess.”

Mauch’s slide was picked up by ESPN and shown on its “SportsCenter” show Sunday morning. NDSU football in its Twitter account went a step further by showing multiple angles of it, including a slow-motion shot.


The mocking of ball carriers or receivers doing the referee first down signal has became a fan favorite.

“That’s the way it’s supposed to be played,” said Bison head coach Matt Entz. “If you ain’t having fun, then why are you doing it? It’s serious at times. There’s a lot of standards, expectations are unbelievably high. But it’s OK to smile and laugh and be a character at times.”

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The play was a third-and-8 scramble by Miller for 14 yards on NDSU’s first possession. NDSU eventually scored on an eight-yard run from running back Hunter Luepke for a 7-0 lead it would not surrender.

“I don’t know if you can get much better than that,” said offensive tackle Cordell Volson.

North Dakota State's Cody Mauch celebrates with family and fans after the win over Montana State during the FCS title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
David Samson/ The Forum

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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NDSU received 52 of 54 first-place votes. South Dakota State received the other two first-place votes and was ranked second. NDSU and SDSU were among the five Missouri Valley Football Conference teams ranked in the top 25.