Top-seeded North Dakota State took a major step forward in the FCS playoffs, as the Bison rolled to a 52-10 victory over Montana State in the second round.
The defending FCS champions were simply overpowering, using a relentless ground game to punish the Bobcats. The unbeaten Bison (12-0) ran for 407 yards on 44 attempts, and running back Lance Dunn was basically unstoppable. He carried the ball 11 times for 127 yards and scored four touchdowns.
Bruce Anderson also had a dominant game, as he gained 118 yards on 13 carries and scored a touchdown. Ty Brooks was the third Bison running back to exceed the 100-yard mark, as he gained 103 yards on six carries and also scored a touchdown.
Montana State quarterback Troy Andersen gained 129 on 24 carries and scored on a 51-yard touchdown run. The Bison hammered away at Montana State the rest of the game.
North Dakota State has served notice that any FCS team that is going to stop them is going to have to contend with this overwhelming running game.
The victory means North Dakota State moves into the quarterfinal round, where it will host eighth-seeded Colgate (10-1) next week. Colgate defeated James Madison 23-20 in a second-round game on Saturday.
North Dakota State has won six of the last seven FCS titles, and it has reached the quarterfinal round of the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons.
Second-seeded Weber State also won in impressive fashion, pounding Southeast Missouri State by a 48-23 margin.
Quarterback Jake Constantine was sharp throughout the game, and he propelled the Wildcats to the victory. Constantine completed 18 of 30 passes for 199 yards with four touchdowns, and he did not throw an interception. Isiah Jackson caught two passes for 56 yards, and both went for touchdowns, while Rashid Shaheed caught six passes for 62 yards and one touchdown.
"I thought we were great today," Constantine said, per Christopher Kamrani of the Salt Lake Tribune. "I think we came out with great intensity."
The Wildcats also received a strong effort from senior safety Jordan Preator, who had two interceptions in addition to his four tackles.
Weber State will host seventh-seeded Maine in Ogden, Utah, on Friday. The Black Bears punished Jacksonville State 55-27.
Chris Ferguson had quite an efficient game for the Black Bears, completing 14 of 26 passes for 159 yards, and five of those passes went for touchdowns. Earnest Edwards caught three passes for 49 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Ramon Jefferson ran for 186 yards and two scores.
All eight of the seeded teams were victorious in the second round of the bracket. Third-seeded Eastern Washington defeated Nicholls State 42-21, while fourth-seeded Kennesaw State edged Wofford 13-10. No. 5 seed South Dakota State was too much for Duquesne in a 51-6 runaway, while sixth-seeded UC Davis got the best of Northern Iowa by a 23-16 margin.
Quarterfinal round matchups (all times ET)
No. 7 Maine at No. 2 Weber State; Dec. 7, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 8 Colgate at No. 1 North Dakota State; Dec. 8, noon (ESPN)
No. 5 South Dakota State at No. 4 Kennesaw State; Dec. 8, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)
No. 6 UC Davis at No. 3 Eastern Washington; Dec. 8, 4 p.m. (ESPN3)