NDSU-James Madison Football in Familiar Position: Playing Meaningful Games in December

Bison-Dukes play for spot in FCS Championship Friday Night

FARGO, N.D — Soak it all in Bison fans. Friday night’s semifinal match-up marks the last meeting for James Madison and North Dakota state as fcs opponents as the Dukes make the move to the FBS  next season.
And just like their previous two meetings, there is a lot to play for in this one.

Last time both sides got together in the FargoDome back in 2016, JMU won to go to the national championship. To this day, its the only loss NDSU has taken on their home field in the playoffs. Although the Bison won the last head-to-head in the 2020 national title in Frisco.

With all the back and forth affairs between the two, it has created what head coach Matt Entz calls a mutual respect.

“We both reached out to one another but I know its two teams who have great respect for one another and know that the other team is going to play unbelievably hard,” Entz said. “It’ll be a little bit of a donnybrook I imagine. Both teams are excited to play and there’s a lot riding on it.”

Entz called the Dukes the best in the country, who come in off a dominate 29-6 win over Montana where quarterback Cole Johnson threw for 285 yards and two scores. Its what Johnson has done all year with 39 TD’s and just two interceptions.

“He’s really accurate and really good on third down. I think him and his receivers have great rapport,” Entz said. “He has great confidence in what he’s doing out there. You can tell from the spring until now, its night and day. Were going to have to do some things to get him off his first look. Try to confuse him. Change up pictures during the course of the game. We can’t make it that easy on him.”>

Late in the FargoDome. Kick-off is Friday night at 8:15.

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