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Montana State, North Dakota State to clash again in FCS playoffs this week

Matt Entz
Posted at 4:39 PM, Nov 25, 2023

BILLINGS — Montana State will welcome a familiar foe to Bobcat Stadium for the second round of the FCS playoffs.

MSU will host perennial power North Dakota State next Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bison crushed Drake 66-3 at the Fargodome in a first-round contest, setting up the fifth postseason meeting between the Bobcats and NDSU since 2010.

NDSU has beaten Montana State in each of the previous four postseason matchups, including in the semifinals in 2019 and the national championship game in 2021 in Frisco, Texas.

The Bison (9-3) beat Drake on Saturday behind 318 team rushing yards, led by a team-high 104 by Cole Payton. Both Payton and Barika Kpeenu rushed for two touchdowns; NDSU had six rushing touchdowns in all.

Quarterback Cam Miller completed 10 of 11 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for 62 yards. NDSU's defense limited Drake to 232 total offensive yards and an average of 2.0 yards per rush.

The Bobcats (8-3) are the No. 6 seed for the FCS playoffs and enjoyed a first-round bye. MSU is coming off a 37-7 defeat at the hands of rival Montana last Saturday in Missoula.