NDSU’s 2013 FCS champ: Team of the decade

NCAA Football
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(STATS) – How North Dakota State scored its touchdowns in the 2013 FCS national championship brought an appropriate end to an unforgettable season.

Five different players found the end zone as the Bison cruised past Towson 35-7 and completed a 15-0 season – the first undefeated FCS champion since Marshall in 1996.

There was so much star power on that squad that surely from the Bison’s season-opening win at Kansas State they were destined to claim the third of what became a record five straight FCS national titles:

Quarterback Brock Jensen, backed by sophomore Carson Wentz, and throwing to wide receivers Zach Vraa and Ryan Smith. Running backs Sam Ojuri and John Crockett working behind offensive linemen Billy Turner, Joe Haeg and Zack Johnson. Defensive end Kyle Emanuel, linebackers Grant Olson, Travis Beck, Carlton Littlejohn and freshman Nick DeLuca, and a secondary with cornerbacks Marcus Williams and C.J. Smith and safeties Colten Heagle and Christian Dudzik. Kicker Adam Keller and punter Ben LeCompte.

A majority of the seniors on what many believe was the strongest team of the Bison’s dynasty in the 2010s played in three consecutive national finals and went 43-2 over those seasons, capping the three-peat under coach Craig Bohl, who had announced a month earlier that he would step down after the season to become the next coach at Wyoming.

“This team, I said this, they were possessed with perfection. And they relentlessly pursued it,” Bohl said. “And you’re not going to be perfect, but in the middle of it, you’re going to catch excellence.”

All season, the Bison smothered opponents with their power run game and defense, outscoring them 581-169. The one-sided title game was actually the closest of their four playoff wins, which they captured on average by 32.8 points.

Since that season, North Dakota State’s 2018 squad also finished 15-0 and earned the Missouri Valley Conference program’s seventh national title in the decade. The Bison are 15-0 heading into the 2019 title game against James Madison on Jan. 11 in Frisco, Texas.

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