NDSU’s Watson, Gonnella to play in FCS Championship Saturday
Both have missed multiple games with injury
FRISCO, TX — North Dakota State football fans rejoice because head coach Matt Entz expects his all-American receiver Christian Watson to return to the field for Saturday’s FCS Championship.
Watson has missed the last three playoff games with a hamstring injury. That’s not all on the injury front. Entz also said center Jalen Sundell and left guard Nash Jensen will suit up after missing the semifinal match-up against James Madison along wish running back Dom Gonnella, who was the starter at the beginning of the season, before going down with an ankle injury in week nine against South Dakota State.
“Both offensively and on special teams, Christian’s addition is huge. He’s a dynamic player. He’s one of the best receivers in mid-major football,” Entz said. “He gives us a deep threat and can get in and out of breaks. Special teams wise, he’s back there returning kicks. We have to find ways to be creative and get the ball in his hands because he does have game breaking speed. He has the ability to generate those explosive plays you want to have offensively.”
Watson leads the team in receiving with 39 catches for 740 yards and seven touchdowns along with 125 on the ground. He accepted an invitation to the senior bowl on Wednesday. Gonnella has 125 rushing and hasn’t scored since week one doing it twice against Albany.
Quarterback Cam Miller will be the one doing the throwing and handing off to them. Entz said for someone making his first fcs championship start, Miller has done everything right.
“He’s played in state championships. He’s been in critical games. He’s had I’m sure pressure put on him to be successful. He’s approached this game like all of them,” Entz said. “Very preparation based. Trying to understand everything he can about the game plan. Dive into our opponent and make sure he sees rotation. All the things you ask him to do. In a week’s time has now spread it over three, I know he is super excited. I anticipate he has heard from some of our former quarterback’s as well. How to handle this and the thing we have to continue our kids about is make sure you hey you’re appreciating the moment as well. Don’t take this granted. It’s an unbelievable opportunity that they’ve created.”
Miller joins the likes of Trey Lance, Carson Wentz, Easton Stick and Brock Jensen to start the national title game. The bison went about their final walk-through where some alumni talked about the importance of winning. NDSU is going for their 9th in 11 years.