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North Dakota State vs Montana LIVE NCAA FCS semifinals 12/16/2023

North Dakota State vs Montana LIVE NCAA FCS semifinals 12/16/2023

The stage is set for a battle of titans in the FCS playoffs as the North Dakota State Bison (11-3) travel to Missoula, Montana, to take on the Montana Grizzlies (12-1) in the second semifinal on Saturday, December 16th. Kickoff is at 1:30 PM PT (4:30 PM ET).

How to watch Montana vs. North Dakota State

Game Date: Saturday, December 16, 2023
Game Time: 4:30 PM ET
Locations: Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Montana
TV: ESPN

Live Stream the North Dakota State vs Montana football game: Start your free trial today!

Matt Entz, the head coach of North Dakota State, has been appointed as the assistant head coach for defense and linebackers coach for the University of Southern California (USC). This announcement was made by USC coach Lincoln Riley, who has been making significant changes to the defensive staff. Entz will be joining D’Anton Lynn, the recently hired defensive coordinator who was recruited from UCLA.

Entz has an impressive track record, having won two FCS national championships during his five-year tenure at North Dakota State. He will continue coaching the Bison until the end of their current season, with their upcoming game against Montana in the FCS semifinals. Under Entz’s leadership, North Dakota State has achieved a remarkable 60-10 record and produced eight NFL draft picks, including standout quarterback Trey Lance.

USC, on the other hand, is in dire need of defensive improvement. The team finished the regular season with disappointing defensive statistics, ranking 120th out of 130 FBS teams in yards allowed per game and points allowed per game. As a result, defensive coordinator Alex Grinch was let go. USC’s defensive struggles overshadowed the success of their offense, led by Caleb Williams, which ranked fourth in the FBS in scoring.

Looking ahead, USC will be facing Louisville in the Holiday Bowl on December 27. With the addition of Matt Entz to the coaching staff, the Trojans hope to revamp their defense and put up a strong performance in the upcoming game.

Tale of the Tape:

  • Montana boasts a potent offense: averaging 32.3 points per game, 13.2 more than North Dakota State’s average allowed (19.1). They’ve been dominant when scoring over 19.1 points, going undefeated against the spread and overall.
  • North Dakota State’s defense is stingy: forcing nine turnovers this season compared to Montana’s two. Their offense is no slouch either, averaging 38.8 points per game, a staggering 23.0 more than Montana’s average defense allows (15.8). When they score more than 15.8 points, they’re a formidable force, going 8-3 overall and 3-2 against the spread.

Players to Watch:

Montana:

  • Clifton McDowell: the dual-threat quarterback has thrown for 1,701 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for 734 yards and nine scores.
  • Eli Gillman: leads the rushing attack with 901 yards and 10 touchdowns.
  • Keelan White and Junior Bergen: the top receiving targets with 739 and 707 yards respectively, both averaging over 50 yards per game.
  • Riley Wilson and Braxton Hill: defensive anchors with 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles respectively.

North Dakota State:

  • Cam Miller: the do-it-all quarterback has thrown for 2,525 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for 650 yards and 13 touchdowns.
  • TaMerik Williams: the leading rusher with 716 yards and eight touchdowns.
  • Eli Green and Zach Mathis: top wideouts with 789 and 637 yards respectively, both averaging over 45 yards per game.
  • Dylan Hendricks and Sam Jung: defensive leaders with 6.5 sacks and seven tackles respectively.
  • Cole Wisniewski: the interception king with a team-high eight picks.

Intangibles:

  • Home field advantage: Montana enjoys a raucous crowd at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, known as “The Griz.”
  • Experience: North Dakota State owns eight FCS championships, while Montana seeks their first since 2008.

Prediction:

This matchup promises a thrilling clash of styles. Montana’s offensive firepower could overwhelm North Dakota State’s defense, but the Bison’s experience and stingy defense could keep them in the game. Ultimately, the Grizzlies’ home field advantage and offensive prowess might be the deciding factors.

Final Score: Montana 31, North Dakota State 24

Don’t miss this epic showdown in the FCS semifinals! Tune in on Saturday, December 16th, and witness the clash of these two titans.

Frank Overall

I'm Frank Overall, a passionate sports writer with a love for capturing the essence of athletic events through my words. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports, I aim to bring the excitement of the game to life for my readers. From the highs of victory to the struggles of defeat, I strive to create compelling narratives that resonate with sports enthusiasts around the globe. Join me as we explore the thrilling world of sports together!

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