Bison notebook: Youngstown State's McLaughlin hits 7K career rushing yards, but not enough to knock off NDSU
Penguins running back Jaleel McLaughlin rushed for 150 yards and also caught a touchdown against NDSU on Saturday at the Fargodome.
FARGO — Youngstown State running back Jaleel McLaughlin accounted for almost 70% of his team's offense Saturday afternoon at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
McLaughlin rushed for 150 yards on 17 attempts and finished with 193 yards from scrimmage in North Dakota State's 27-14 victory against the Penguins in Missouri Valley Football Conference play before 18,055 fans.
“He’s dynamic and just to see his confidence," said Youngstown State head coach Doug Phillips. "He wanted the football, those weren’t easy yards.”
McLaughlin scored YSU's lone touchdown with a 35-yard TD reception with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The Penguins finished with 281 yards on 50 plays.
With Saturday's effort, McLaughlin has rushed for more than 7,000 yards during his NCAA career, becoming only the seventh player in NCAA history to hit the 7,000-yard mark. He started his college career at Division II Notre Dame College in Ohio.
“Anyone in the top 10 in the NCAA ever has to have some talent," Bison head coach Matt Entz said.
McLaughlin had a 44-yard run on a third-and-9 play to move the ball to the NDSU 5-yard line. That led to Colt McFadden's 22-yard field goal that cut the Bison lead to 14-3 with 10 minutes, 35 seconds to play in the second quarter.
“It’s going to take a lot more than one," said Bison safety Michael Tutsie of the YSU offense leaning mostly on McLaughlin. “The running back had some good plays here and there."
Phillips was pleased with the way McLaughlin was tough to bring down throughout the afternoon.
“It wasn't just wide-open runs," Phillips said. "He was splitting defenders and making people miss tackles. ... He’s strong. If you don’t go in there to make tackles, he’ll bust it.”
Youngstown turns to backup QB in 2nd half
Youngstown State turned to its backup quarterback for the first time this season. After scoring three points in the first two quarters, the Penguins started junior Mitch Davidson in the third quarter.
“We came to Fargo to win a football game and sometimes as a head coach you’ve got to make those decisions," Phillips said.
The move looked to have immediate results. YSU rattled off gains of 15, 10 and 12 yards on the first three plays. It helps a backup QB to have McLaughlin, too, who on third-and-19 picked up 19 yards to the NDSU 32-yard line.
The Bison defense held from there, however, and McFadden's 47-yard field goal cut the Bison lead to 21-6.
Davidson came in for starter Demeatric Crenshaw, who completed 5 of 10 passes for 34 yards with one interception. Davidson finished 6 of 10 for 87 yards and one touchdown.
Bison senior Jensen misses first career game
The injury that caused starting left guard Nash Jensen to leave the game at the University of South Dakota last week spilled over to the Youngstown game. One of NDSU's most durable offensive lineman missed his first career game.
Jensen started all 41 games the previous season and played a backup role in all 15 games as a redshirt freshman in 2018. Junior Grey Zabel started in Jensen's place against the Penguins.
Jensen practiced late in the week and didn't go with a day-to-day situation. Entz thinks he'll be back in practice on Monday.
"I think if it were a different situation, he might have been able to play today," Entz said.
Odds and ends
NDSU defensive end Jake Kava had an ice pack on his shoulder in the second half, but Entz wasn't immediately sure of any injury. ... Kobe Johnson hobbled off the field early in the fourth quarter but Entz didn't think it was anything serious. ... Bison redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jaxon Duttenhefer got his first career quarterback sack on Youngstown's first possession of the third quarter, which created a third-and-19 situation. ... For the second straight game, NDSU's Griffin Crosa was 2 for 2 on field goals.