FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State, the FCS team known for toppling FBS opponents, was taken down by one of its own — at home.
Taryn Christion threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jake Wieneke with one second left Saturday as South Dakota State rallied from 14 down and stunned the top-ranked Bison 19-17.
SDSU (4-2, 3-0) had been inside the Bison 5-yard line three previous times only to come up empty. But on fourth down, Wieneke ran at Jalen Allen and turned in time to catch a back-shoulder pass from Christion.
“I didn’t know if it was coming to me, but I expected it to,” Wieneke said. “It was single coverage and I had to do everything I could to catch the ball.”
Wieneke had six catches for 108 yards, while Dallas Goedert hauled in 11 passes for 150 yards and a score.
“Just to get the win was awesome,” Wieneke said. “(Taryn’s) a beast — such a great player.”
The Bison (5-1, 2-1) made it 17-3 on a 26-yard run by Eason Stick with 10:16 left in the third quarter.
But the SDSU defense took charge after that.
Christion hit Goedert from 12 yards out for a touchdown that pulled the Jacks within 17-10, and a defensive stand gave SDSU the ball on its own 20 with 2:28 to play.
Christion converted two third-and-long runs on the drive. He hit Goedert on third-and-10 that took the ball down to the NDSU 2 with 5 seconds left to set up the game-winner.
“We played our tails off,” NDSU coach Chris Klieman said. “They made plays. Let’s give them credit. They made more plays than we did. We’ll bounce back.”
North Dakota State: The Bison, who stretched their winning streak to FBS opponents to six after beating Iowa in Iowa City last month, will still make the FCS playoffs barring an unfathomable collapse. Saturday served as a reminder that they’re not infallible.
South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits, who hung 41 on TCU in a road loss last month, likely punched their playoff ticket by beating the No. 1 team in the FCS on the road. SDSU outgained the five-time defending FCS champions 523-304 in total yards — even though the Jackrabbits came into play giving up 36 points per game.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about SDSU’s upset win is that it converted just 2 of 6 fourth-down tries, including two inside NDSU’s five-yard line. “It feels super,” SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. “I’m proud of our team and of our program. This is a tough place to play.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Christion completed 24 of 42 passes for 303 yards and two scores. He also ran 20 times for 141 yards, helping the Jacks to 220 yards on the ground. The Bison (5-1, 2-1) had allowed 101 rushing yards in its previous three games. … Stick was 14 for 20 for 143 yards passing and ran for a team-high 86 yards and two scores. … The loss was the first for the Bison since a 24-21 defeat to South Dakota on Oct. 17, 2015.
North Dakota State: Travels to face Western Illinois next week. Hosting the Bison after a loss might not be such a good thing for the Leathernecks.
South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits host Youngstown State on Saturday. They’ll be celebrating “Hobo Day” at Dykhouse Stadium.