NDSU Football Adds Non-Conference Games to 2018, 2019, 2020 Schedules
The Bison will face North Alabama, UC Davis and Drake
FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) – North Dakota State University announced on Tuesday, May 30, the addition of three home football games for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.
NDSU will play North Alabama on Sept. 22, 2018; UC Davis on Sept. 21, 2019; and Drake on Sept. 12, 2020; at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
The additions leave one non-conference opening on NDSU’s 2018 and 2020 schedules. The Bison have a 12-game slate completed for 2019.
North Alabama, the Division II national championship game host from 1986-2013, will play its first Division I schedule in 2018 before joining the Big South Conference as an affiliate member in 2019. The Lions reached their fifth Division II national title game last year.
NDSU is 1-0 against North Alabama with a 35-7 victory in the 1985 Palm Bowl, the final NCAA Division II national championship game held in McAllen, Texas. The Bison won titles at UNA’s Braly Municipal Stadium in 1986 against South Dakota, 1988 against Portland State and 1990 against Indiana (Pa.).
UC Davis, a former member of the Great West Football Conference with NDSU, has spent the past five seasons as an affiliate member of the Big Sky Conference. Former Boise State and Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins is entering his first year as UC Davis head coach.
NDSU leads the all-time series 6-4 against UC Davis with victories in each of the last two meetings. The Bison are 9-3 against teams from the Big Sky Conference since 2004.
Drake, a member of the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League, will be making its first trip to Fargo. The Bulldogs are 2-0 against NDSU with a pair of wins in Des Moines during the 1955 and 1962 seasons. NDSU is 2-0 against teams from the Pioneer including a 2016 second-round playoff win over San Diego.
North Dakota State opens the 2017 season on Sept. 2 against Mississippi Valley State. The Bison return 16 starters from last year’s team that won its sixth straight Missouri Valley Football Conference championship and finished 12-2 overall with a loss to eventual national champion James Madison in the NCAA semifinals.