Bison bid to lay down Marker against Jackrabbits
North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz says Zeb Noland is getting comfortable in the Bison's offence as the quarterback attempts to build on his first turnover-free game of 2021 in the Dakota Marker Game today.
The Bison can earn state-wide bragging rights, enhance their prospects of returning to the top of the FCS poll and ensure they remain the team to beat in the playoffs by overcoming South Dakota State at the Fargodome.
Ranked second in the polls behind James Madison, the team that briefly stopped their nine-year dominance of the FCS in 2016, NDSU have won four games on the bounce since Southern Illinois ended their FCS-record 39-game win streak in February.
And they will need Noland to be as perfect as he can be to defeat the fourth-ranked Jackrabbits and a defence averaging 1.8 interceptions per game.
The QB, who had big shoes to fill when he transferred from Iowa State to replace NFL-bound phenom Trey Lance under center, had no turnovers for the first time since week one in last week's 23-20 win over Northern Iowa.
Noland had thrown five interceptions in the four games he'd started prior to that, including two in his previous start against North Dakota.
"He hadn't played in a football game since 2017-2018," Entz told reporters," via kvrr.com.
"Its taken him some time to get back on the seat and feel comfortable about what he's doing and to have complete comfort with the offense were trying to run."
The Bison are 20/23 to cover the Jackrabbits' three-point advantage on the spread.
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