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Bison Game Day: Stats, predictions for Samford at NDSU

Bulldogs and Bison square off tonight in FCS quarterfinals at the Fargodome

North Dakota State's Spencer Waege (99) celebrates a sack on Montana quarterback Lucas Johnson with teammates Javier Derritt and Tony Pierce during the NCAA FCS playoffs at the Fargodome on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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FARGO — It's Friday Night Lights tonight at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome and a new opponent comes to Fargo in the Samford Bulldogs.

The Southern Conference champions defeated Southeastern Louisiana last week in the second round to earn the right to play No. 3 seed North Dakota State. The Bison and Bulldogs have never played, but the writers and broadcasters who cover NDSU for Forum Communications weigh in on their thoughts and outcome:

Zeke Mayo's career day lifts Jackrabbits to rivalry win
Former North Dakota State quarterback is a free agent and would like to find a team where he has a shot at playing
A 12-3 season is outstanding by college football standards, but the Bison in the last decade are measured by their FCS title game successes.
Michael Tutsie has mastered the art of balancing being a student, football player and dad with a little help from his NDSU football family.
North Dakota State ended the game on a 15-2 run to regain the lead for good and earn its third straight victory
It's the second straight year Wisniewski won the academic award.
Andrew Morgan tallied a season-high 24 points and 13 rebounds to pace NDSU at Scheels Center on Thursday night
Washington's loss to Cleveland on Sunday was a team collapse and it would be tempting to call it one of the franchise's lowest moments but there have been so many in the past quarter-century.
The former NDSU quarterback was subbed in for starter Taylor Heinicke but the Commanders' playoff chances took a hit with loss to San Francisco on Saturday.
Oliver Lucht and Brennan Palmer shared the experience of the recruitment process as teammates, neighbors and friends. Both signed Wednesday morning to join the Bison.
NDSU football fan, 8 year old, Micah Moxness turns to the Bison to help get him through toughest days
WDAY's Eric Bunnell was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in the summer of 2022.
Go deep with these podcast episodes:
Kolpack and Izzo Podcast: Squaring off with Samford, NDSU prepare for a first-time opponent
Friday Night Football is back in Fargo.

North Dakota State will play a nationally televised Friday night football game for the tenth time since 2012, but for the first time it will be in the quarterfinal round. The Bison will match up with the Southern Conference champion, Samford, Friday at 6pm on ESPN2.

The Bulldogs (11-1) enter unbeaten against FCS opponents, their only loss coming to FBS champion Georgia. This will be the first plane flight for Samford since the 2016 season, when they flew to Youngstown State to play a playoff game with the Penguins.

Samford is led by quarterback Michael Heirs, who was the SoCon offensive player of the year. Heirs though was injured in the regular season finale against Mercer, and his status is uncertain for Friday. Backup Quincy Crittendon led Samford to an overtime win over Southeastern Louisiana last week.

The Bison enter dealing with more injuries. Middle linebacker Luke Weerts is in a walking boot and his status is uncertain for Friday's game. NDSU hopes to have fullback Logan Hofstedt available after he was injured during the second round game against Montana.

WDAY's Dom Izzo and the Forum's Jeff Kolpack preview the matchup with Samford and chat about other topics around college football.

NDSU will welcome in a first-time opponent in the Samford Bulldogs
North Dakota State returns to the FCS quarterfinals for the 13th straight year this Friday as they'll host Samford University out of the Southern Conference.

This marks the first Friday night quarterfinal that NDSU has played in. The Bison have traditionally played in the Saturday 11 am time slot, appearing in that game every year from 2013-19 and last season.

Full audio from the Bison Video Blog with Dom Izzo and Jeff Kolpack.

The McFeely Mess: Looking at the Bison-Samford game
Forum sportswriter Eric Peterson joins podcast host and columnist Mike McFeely to break down the North Dakota State-Samford FCS playoffs quarterfinal game this week. The Bison host the Bulldogs on Friday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. Central.

The Bison have their vaunted rushing game rolling, crushing their last two opponents in North Dakota and Montana. Can NDSU continue that trend against Samford, of the Southern Conference? If so, NDSU's chances of getting to the semifinals for the 11th time in the past 12 seasons grows.

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