North Dakota State Bison (13-1) vs. James Madison Dukes (14-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 6, 2018, 12:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: James Madison Dukes +3.5 -- Over/Under: 43
The North Dakota State Bison and James Madison Dukes meet Saturday in the FCS college football Championship at Toyota Stadium.
The North Dakota State Bison look to finish the season 14-1 to claim their 14th national title in school history. The North Dakota State Bison are coming off a 55-13 win over Sam Houston State in the semifinals. Easton Stick is completing 62.4 percent of his passes for 2,336 yards, 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Stick has two or more touchdown passes in seven of his last 11 games. RJ Urzendowski and Darrius Shepherd have combined for 1,074 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Jeff Illies has 19 receptions. The North Dakota State Bison ground game is averaging 282.1 yards per contest, and Bruce Anderson leads the way with 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, North Dakota State is allowing 11.5 points and 237.1 yards per game. Jabril Cox leads the North Dakota State Bison with 72 tackles, Nick DeLuca has 5.5 sacks and Tre Dempsey has six interceptions.
The James Madison Dukes hope to complete the perfect season while earning their third national title in school history. The James Madison Dukes haven’t lost a game since September 17 of 2016. Bryan Schor is completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 3,074 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Schor has two or more touchdown passes in five of his last nine games. Terrence Alls and David Eldridge have combined for 1,205 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Riley Stapleton has 35 receptions. The James Madison Dukes ground game is averaging 201.5 yards per contest, and Marcus Marshall leads the way with 820 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, James Madison is allowing 10.7 points and 251.1 yards per game. Kyre Hawkins leads the James Madison Dukes with 101 tackles, Andrew Ankrah has 8.5 sacks and Jordan Brown has nine interceptions.
We have the two best teams going at it, so you could make a strong case for either side. North Dakota State is probably better on the defensive side and has the championship experience considering the Bison are in these big games nearly every year and going for their 14th title. James Madison just won the title back in 2016 ad has an offense that's produced at least 30 points in six of its last nine games. In terms of picking this game, I'm not sure how you can turn down the free points with the James Madison Dukes. This is a program that's not only undefeated this season but hasn't lost to an FCS team since Colgate back in December of 2015. It's been over two years since that loss take place. North Dakota State also isn't playing at the Fargodome, the one thing that usually gives them that extra edge and makes things tough.
In a game James Madison can win outright, I'll gladly take the free field goal with the hook.