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NDSU in talks for potential football game in Nashville against Tennessee State

The Bison would host the Tigers in Fargo in 2024.

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North Dakota State and Butler team captains meet at midfield for the coin toss at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — North Dakota State may be heading to the Volunteer State.

NDSU deputy athletic director Todd Phelps said the Bison are in talks to play Tennessee State in a home and home series for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

"I'm hoping to solidify this week a home and home with Tennessee State and head coach Eddie George," Phelps said on Hot Mic on WDAY Xtra. "I've had conversations with them, it could fall through, they've got some logistic things on their end, I'm hoping we can get that worked out and announce that soon."

The Bison would host the Tigers at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome in the 2024 season, then would play Tennessee State at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, the home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans. Former NDSU All-America left tackle Dillon Radunz is in his second year with the Titans, who drafted him in the second round in 2021.

"We're hoping they would come here and that would complete the 2024 schedule and then we would go there in 2025," Phelps said.

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Tennessee State, located in Nashville, is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Tigers are coached by 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, who took over before the 2021 season.

Phelps added that he reached out to Power Five schools Utah and South Carolina for potential games in the 2025 season, but was denied each time. "I called Utah two weeks ago and haven't heard anything. South Carolina was an outright no," he said.

U.S. Bank Stadium wide shot
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is home to the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota Vikings photo

NDSU will play its second "destination game" in 2023 when the Bison will travel to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to take on Eastern Washington on Sept 2.

Over 35,000 fans filled Target Field in 2019 when the Bison beat Butler 57-10.

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North Dakota State enters the stadium before kickoff against Butler at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. David Samson / The Forum

The home game with TSU would complete the 2024 schedule, which already includes an FBS game at Colorado, a road game at East Tennessee State and home game with Towson.

The 2025 schedule has a nonconference game with St. Thomas slated for November.

Both the 2024 and 2025 schedules are 12-game seasons, allowing NDSU and other FCS schools to schedule one extra game than the usual 11.

Phelps added that NDSU is not done with future destination games.

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"We are looking at trying to do something in 2027 with another FCS opponent," Phelps said. "Vegas is still on the docket and a possibility we're having conversations with. The possibility of Nashville and Las Vegas could be a huge deal for Bison fans."

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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