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Kansas State upset by FCS force North Dakota State

Colten Heagle, Grant Olson, Cole Jirik AP

North Dakota State, winners of two consecutive FCS national championships, showed the poise and maturity of a battle-tested champion in a road upset of defending Big 12 champion Kansas State Friday night. The Bisons methodically moved down field 80 yards over 18 plays  in the final minutes of the game to stun the Wildcats in the season opener, 24-21.

Make no mistake about this one, this was certainly an upset but it was no fluke. Bison quarterback Brock Jensen was 20-of-29 for 164 yards, each pass almost always just where it needed to be on the field to move the chains no matter the down and yardage. No situation seemed to rattle Jensen and the rest of the Bison. Running back Sam Ojuri rushed for 126 yards against a team that was ranked second in the Big 12 in rushing defense in 2012.

Kansas State saw prized junior college quarterback transfer Jake Waters get his first start with the team. In his debut Waters completed 21 of 29 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also intercepted twice. Two Wildcat receivers eclipsed the century mark, with Tyler Lockett leading all players with 113 receiving yards and Tramaine Thompson adding 108 yards.

The loss marked the first season opening loss for Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder since 1989, his first season with the program. Kansas State is also the first defending AC conference champion to lose to an FCS school the following year. Before the game Kansas State unveiled a new statue in honor of Snyder. So much for timing.

This loss will spur plenty of conversation of course. Is North Dakota State really that good (yes)? Is Kansas State really that bad (no)? What does this mean for the Big 12? Probably not quite as much as you might think.

It goes without saying the loss is a rough one for the Big 12. If we tend to poke fun at The American for a loss to an FCS team (Towson over UConn), then this should be fair game for the Big 12 as well. Except for one thing. this is not exactly the Kansas State of 2012 that went down in defeat here. This is a Wildcats team that had just two returning starters on defense going up against an experienced and cohesive North Dakota State team. Kansas State also threw in a junior college transfer hoping for the best, and nearly escaped with the victory.  Waters may have a fine season in the purple and silver, but he is no Collin Klein right now.

But let’s see where Kansas State goes now. The next game on the schedule is not exactly the easiest of match-ups. Kansas State hosts Louisiana-Lafayette  next week and has back-to-back road trips to Texas and Oklahoma state looming. things could easily spiral out of control if Snyder doesn’t get this team ready for next week’s game.

As for North Dakota State, winners of four straight games against FBS opponents (Colorado State in 2012, Minnesota in 2011, Kansas in 2010), the Bison will continue on their hopeful march to another FCS title next week at home against Division 2 Ferris State.

Good luck Ferris State.

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11 Responses to “Kansas State upset by FCS force North Dakota State”
  1. pa1856 says: Aug 31, 2013 12:44 AM

    Good luck?… NDSU looked like the real deal. If like to see them be in the big ten in the next ten years.

  2. Hawk Rising says: Aug 31, 2013 12:47 AM

    Love it! Not as great as Appalacian State – Michigan, but better than Towson – UConn. Really hoping for a shocking upset by a 1AA tomorrow. Nicholls State would be the Bee’s Knees…

  3. huskerguy says: Aug 31, 2013 12:49 AM

    Congrats to Craig Bohl on his wonderful win. Good to see former Husker coaches do well.

  4. kcrobert10 says: Aug 31, 2013 1:22 AM

    Guess we won’t have to entertain the idea of the Wildcats getting a beat down by the sec champ this yr. There d looked awful couldn’t stop the run at all. They better fix it fast or it could be a long yr. At least they are in the big 12 nobody really runs the ball in that conference.

  5. alligatorsnapper says: Aug 31, 2013 1:46 AM

    It would not take the SEC champion to beat Kansas State, but fairly sure a lower tier team at the end of the season could handle the job. Just run the ball on them and throw passes in to mix it up. Any SEC team can do that, even Kentucky.

    Now if somehow the Nicholls State Colonels…I would hear the celebration clean across the state where I am, southernpatriots family may hear the celebration all the way to Jerry’s World!!! Geaux Colonels!

  6. longtallsam says: Aug 31, 2013 5:25 AM

    People always bring up the App State win over Michigan as the biggest upset in history. I tend to disagree. What that game, and the rest of that season, showed, was that, that Michigan team was the most overrated team in history.

  7. v2the4 says: Aug 31, 2013 8:03 AM

    alligator…Nicholls st is at Oregon today…..they ended their 2012 season getting slaughtered by Oregon St, who got clobbered by Oregon the week before…..the Ducks will put up 60 on the Colonels before the call off the dogs today in Eugene.

    Longtallsam….as for that 2007 Michigan team that lost to Appalachian St 34-32 in the biggest FCS win over an FCS school so far, Michigan went on to lose their next game to Dennis Dixon, Johnaton Stewart and Oregon 39-7 as well….

    Michigan won 8 straight before ending with back to back losses to Wisconsin and Ohio State….in the Capital One Bowl, the 8-4 Wolverines beat a 9-3 Florida squad, led by Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow, 41-35 in the bowl game

  8. kpageisgreat says: Aug 31, 2013 9:18 AM

    JMU over VT. That’s a bigger upset seeing that VT finished with 11 straight wins and an Orange Bowl berth. And as a JMU fan, I respect NDSU but I do dislike them. Congrats to them either way.

  9. drozman says: Aug 31, 2013 9:19 AM

    @ndnut, well done!

    ndnut says: Aug 30, 2013 12:57 AM

    NDSU beats K-State Friday night. Book it!

  10. bigdinla says: Aug 31, 2013 9:32 AM

    Wait I thought the Big whatever is a good as the SEC? Lol!

  11. thegamecocker says: Aug 31, 2013 9:52 AM

    Bill Snyder is still a great coach and he will get that run defense fixed sooner rather than later. As always he was a gentleman after the game. AP

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