BROOKINGS, S.D. - North Dakota State held the nation's leading rusher in check and controlled the ball for more than 40 minutes in a 20-0 win over South Dakota State in the Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both teams Saturday, Sept. 28.
NDSU held SDSU to minus-32 yards rushing - the least by a Bison opponent in Division I football - to keep the Dakota Marker for a fourth straight season. The Bison improved to 4-0 overall with their 13th straight victory overall and their 14th straight away from Fargo.
The Bison had the ball for 40:20 and ran 74 plays to SDSU's 49, and the result was two late touchdowns. John Crockett ran for all 67 yards on a seven-play scoring drive that gave NDSU a 13-0 lead, and Sam Ojuri's 33-yard run highlighted a 66-yard scoring drive to put the Bison up 20-0 with 4:44 left in the game.
South Dakota State's offense crossed midfield only twice in the game reaching the NDSU 35 late in the first quarter before punting and reaching the NDSU 47 and 45 on the final two plays of the first half. The Jacks (3-2) were just 1 of 12 on third down compared to NDSU's 9 of 16.
The Bison defense registered seven sacks including two by Grant Olson, who had a team-high eight tackles, and three in a row by Cole Jirik, Travis Beck and Kyle Emanuel on SDSU's final drive before running the clock out. SDSU linebacker R.C. Kilgore had a game-high 17 tackles.
NDSU's Ojuri rushed 19 times for 113 yards, Crockett finished with 76 yards on 12 carries and quarterback Brock Jensen rushed 15 times for 61 yards. Jensen was 10-for-19 for 109 yards with one interception through the air. He broke Kevin Feeney's school record for total offense and now has 7,322 yards in his career.
Bison punter Ben LeCompte had seven punts go for an average of 44.3 yards including a career-long 75-yarder from NDSU's 25 in the first quarter and followed that with a 74-yarder from his own 8-yard line.
Zach Zenner, the leading rusher in the Football Championship Subdivision with 742 yards through four games, ran eight times for only four yards. SDSU quarterback Austin Sumner was 14 of 30 passing for 156 yards.
A record crowd of 16,498 was on hand at Couglin-Alumni Stadium. NDSU posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1987 when the Bison won 34-0 at Augustana (S.D.) and 33-0 at home over Morningside.
North Dakota State hosts Northern Iowa at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in the annual Trees Bowl game at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.