Bison Rewind: Awesome in Ames, NDSU routs Iowa State
NDSU wins a fifth straight FBS game in Klieman's debut
It seems silly to think of now, but there were plenty of question marks heading into the 2014 North Dakota State football opener.
The Bison had a new head coach, Chris Klieman, taking over for Craig Bohl, who won three national titles and left for Wyoming. They had a new quarterback in Carson Wentz, taking over for the all-time wins leader in FCS history, Brock Jensen, who led NDSU to those championships.
NDSU signed the game with the Cyclones a few years prior, receiving 350 thousand dollars for the game. The Cyclones were coming off a rotten 3-9 season in 2014 and Paul Rhoads needed to win, especially after losing to Northern Iowa the year before. Things looked promising to start as ISU scored two touchdowns and led the Bison 14-0 early in the second quarter.
The Bison woke up after that. John Crockett changed the momentum of the game on the next play with a brilliant 80 yard touchdown run that cut the lead to 14-7. Wentz got into a rhythm after that, hitting Zach Vraa on a 44 yard pass down to the ISU 1. Crockett scored again and all of a sudden the game was tied at 14.
Momentum fully went to NDSU on the next series when the Bison forced a turnover, as Christian Dudzik picked off a pass and returned it 28 yards. NDSU turned that into points and took a 17-14 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Bison offense continued to wear down Iowa State, as Crockett scored his third touchdown of the day midway thru the third quarter to push the lead to 27-14, and then Chase Morlock finished things off with a 66 yard run to complete an amazing turnaround. 34 unanswered points in a 34-14 bludgeoning.
It marked the fifth consecutive win for NDSU over an FBS opponent and second straight over a Big 12 team. Crockett finished with 139 yards and three touchdowns, Wentz was 18 of 24 for 204 yards, while the defense registered four sacks and two interceptions.
Dudzik joins Dom Izzo and Jeff Kolpack to look back at the win and the imprint this left on the 2014 season.