Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - In today's age of high-powered, fast-tempo
offenses, it's hard to be impressed by teams that just simply run the
ball with power and consistency.
But that type of system that has worked well for North Dakota State over the
last two seasons, and the Bison are a win away over Sam Houston State on
Saturday from a second straight FCS national championship.
This year, the Bison ground game has not been the flashiest, but it works.
"We've been doing this for a couple of years at North Dakota State," said NDSU
running back Sam Ojuri, who shares carries with John Crockett. "Instead of
having one good back, we have two. It helps your body so much at this time of
the season. We're both feeling pretty good and fresh and it helps a lot
knowing that one of us doesn't have to take the entire work load. We both take
pride in our work, and we've both gotten better each day."
The Sam Houston State defense can expect to see a lot of Ojuri and Crockett
when trying to slow down the NDSU offense, which leads the FCS in time of
Crockett has played in all 14 games this season, starting just one, but been
very productive. He's rushed for 956 yards and nine touchdowns and averages
68.3 yards per game.
Ojuri, who has more experience and has started each of his 13 games, has 955
rushing yards, 10 touchdowns and a 73.5-yard average.
The Sam Houston State defense surprisingly ranks better than the Bison,
allowing just 84.1 rushing yards per game this season. Versus FCS competition,
the Bearkats have given up only two rushing touchdowns.
"They're darn good, and we understand that," Crockett said. "But we're pretty
good, too. They have players, we have players. They have athletes, we have
athletes. Should be a battle of the titans."
NDSU quarterback Brock Jensen also can hurt teams in the red zone with his
awareness and his legs. The junior only averages 22 rushing yards per game,
but has scored nine touchdowns on the ground in 14 games.
The top-ranked Bison, from the Missouri Valley Football Conference, have a
13-1 record. Sam Houston is 11-3 out of the Southland Conference.
The Sports Network