Ten Years Gone: Chad Willson reflects on NDSU 9-3 slugfest win over Southern Illinois

One of the toughest games on the Bison schedule in 2011 featured former UND head coach Dale Lennon

Chad Willson
Photo by David Samson/Forum Communications Co. North Dakota State senior linebacker Chad Willson, right, grabs a fumble by Georgia Southern quarterback Jaybo Shaw, left, during the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals on Dec. 17 at the Fargodome.

Can it really be ten years since North Dakota State fans were treated to "UNI loud?"

Ten years since the first showdown with Georgia Southern, ten years since the Bison beat down at TCF Bank Stadium.

It was a memorable team filled with memorable players. Players that lived thru a 3-8 season in 2009 and two years later, won a national championship in Frisco, Texas.

Over the next three months, WDAY Sports Director Dom Izzo will visit with players and coaches from that team and look back at some of the biggest games and most memorable moments.

Chad Willson arrived in Fargo as a junior college transfer from Snow Community College in Utah. Willson immediately proved his worth leading the Bison in tackles in a 6-3 win over Kansas to open the 2010 season.


Willson was the starter at linebacker in the 2011 season and was in the center at one of NDSU's toughest games that season, a 9-3 win at Southern Illinois.

The offensive stats were not pretty in this game for either team, especially NDSU. The Bison registered just 60 yards rushing in the game and were held without a first down until five minutes left in the third quarter.

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Willson led a hungry Bison defense that day that limited SIU to just three points and kept them out of the endzone on a fourth and goal from the one yard line.


North Dakota State's Chad Willson (45) stuffs Sam Houston State's Brian Bell on a fouth down with defenders Travis Beck (52), John Pike (15), Coulter Boyer (92) and Colton Heagle (20) at FC Dallas Stadium Saturday, Jan. 7, in Frisco, Texas. David Samson / The Forum

Willson led NDSU in tackles that day with ten and registered his first career interception in the Bison win.

He joins to talk about how he was recruited to NDSU and what it meant to be part of the first Division I title team at NDSU.

WDAY Sports Director Dom Izzo looks back at the 2011 NDSU title team

WDAY Sports Director Dom Izzo looks back at the 2011 NDSU title team

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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