Defense Leads Bison to Victory Over No. 4 UC Davis
NDSU defeated the Aggies 27-16
FARGO, N.D. – Safety Michael Tutsie and defensive tackle Cole Karcz each made interceptions in the fourth quarter as No. 1 North Dakota State held on to beat No. 4-ranked UC Davis 27-16 on Saturday, Sept. 21, before a crowd of 18,425 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
Tutsie’s interception at the goal line preserved a 20-16 lead with 6:44 to play, and Karcz snared a deflection by defensive end Derrek Tuszka to put the Bison in the red zone with 3:43 to play. Quarterback Trey Lance ran over a tackler on a 10-yard touchdown run three plays later to make it a two-score game.
NDSU safety James Kaczor, who played linebacker for much of the game, made a game- and career-high 11 tackles for the Bison (4-0). Tutsie added 10 tackles to his fourth interception in the past three games.
Lance went 13 of 23 passing for 156 yards while rushing for 48 yards and two scores. NDSU running back Ty Brooks led all rushers with 11 carries for 104 yards and wide receiver Christian Watson had four catches for 56 yards.
UC Davis quarterback Jake Maier, a preseason nominee for the Walter Payton Award in the FCS, went 29 of 48 passing for 312 yards. Jared Harrell caught 12 passes for 102 yards to lead the Aggies (2-2) while running back Ulonzo Gilliam Jr. rushed for 73 yards and caught seven passes for 47 yards.
NDSU allowed just one touchdown, a 17-yard pass from Maier to tight end Wes Preece that tied the game 7-7 in the first quarter. Max O’Rourke kicked three field goals for the Aggies, including a career-long 48-yarder that put the Aggies ahead 10-7 early in the second quarter.
The Bison responded with a six-play scoring drive highlighted by Brooks’ 57-yard rush to the 2 that set up Lance’s 1-yard touchdown run. The teams traded field goals from there with NDSU’s Griffin Crosa connecting from 42 and 26 yards.
North Dakota State, now with a 25-game winning streak, will have one week off before beginning Missouri Valley Football Conference play Saturday, Oct. 5, at Illinois State.