The most formidable dynasty in FCS football faces a tough test as No. 2 seed North Dakota State takes on No. 8 seed Montana State with the National Championships this weekend. The Bison have won eight national titles since 2011 and traveled to Frisco, Texas, defeating No. 3 James Madison, No. 7 East Tennessee State and Southern Illinois along the way. Bison coach Matt Antz is chasing his second national championship in three seasons.
Montana State earned playoff trips in each of the last two seasons and posted consecutive years of playoff wins for the first time in the program’s history; However, the Bobcats have not played for a championship since a 19–6 victory over Louisiana Tech in 1984. Aizaiya Ifanse has been the star of the team in the trail, rushing for 1,539 yards and 10 touchdowns to earn unanimous All-Big Sky honors.
North Dakota State actually ended the Bobcats’ last run in the playoffs in 2019 with a 42-14 victory in the national semifinals, behind five touchdowns from first-round pick Trey Lance. Will the result be different this time? Here’s how you can watch the FCS Championship game with a storyline.
State of Montana vs. North Dakota: Everything you need to know
All-Time Dynasties: Before Sam Houston led NDSU to its peak during last year’s brief spring season, Bison won an unprecedented eight championships in nine years under the direction of Craig Bohl, Chris Kleiman, and now Antz. NDSU has also produced eight NFL draft picks since 2014, including two first-round quarterbacks in Lance and Carson Wentz.
Coaching Changes: After being hired as co-defensive coordinator at Texas, the Bobcats lost former coach Jeff Choet ahead of the 2021 season. Brent Wigen only built on Choate’s success, however, leading the program to a 12–2 season and an appearance in the national championship game. Wigen played at North Dakota State in the 1990s and was a coach under Bohl from 2003, eventually earning the responsibility of associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Wyoming in 2017. Now, he hopes to lead his bobcats to his alma mater.
Physical Offenses: The state of North Dakota has produced its fair share of NFL quarterbacks, but the trenches are where the Bison really stand apart. Offensive linemen Cordell Wolson and Cody Mauch were both named AP All-Americans after leading an offense that averaged 372.6 yards per game and 6.1 yards per carry. Montana State linebacker Troy Anderson earned himself All-American honors after losing 137 tackles and 14 tackles in the breakout campaign, but the Bobcats will have their hand against the talented NDSU offensive front.
How to Watch the FCS Championship Live
Play: NCAA Division I FCS Championship Game
Date: Saturday, January 8 | time: 12 a.m. ET
Location: Toyota Stadium — Frisco, Texas
TV: ESPN2 | live stream: fuboTV (Try it for free)
FCS Championship Predictions, Picks
Featured games , North Dakota State Bison vs Montana State Bobcats
The Bobcats have gone down a difficult path reaching the title game, but North Dakota State is an ultimate boss unlike any other in FCS football. The Bison have never lost in frisco since the game was moved to Texas, scoring 8–0. Montana State is up for the challenge, but NDSU is much more of a battle-test for a team making its first title game since 1984. Prediction: North Dakota State (-7)