North Dakota State Bison football

North Dakota State Bison Football
2019 North Dakota State Bison football team
North Dakota State Bison wordmark.svg
First season1894
Head coachMatt Entz
1st season, 0–0 (–)
(Capacity: 19,000)
FieldGate City Bank Field
Year built1992
Field surfaceAstroTurf Magic Carpet II (2012)
LocationFargo, North Dakota
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceMissouri Valley (2008–)
Past conferencesGreat West (2004–2007)
North Central (1922–2003)
All-time record725–371–34 (.657)
Bowl record12–7 (.632)
Playoff appearances33
Playoff recordDiv. I FCS: 31-2
Div. II: 35-13
Claimed nat'l titles15
(Div. II): 1965, 1968, 1969, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990
(Div. I FCS): 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
Unclaimed nat'l titles3
1899, 1923, 1925
Conference titles35
(8 MVFC, 1 GWFC, 26 NCC)
RivalriesSouth Dakota State (Dakota Marker)
North Dakota[1]
Northern Iowa
ColorsGreen and Yellow[2]
Fight songOn Bison
Marching bandGold Star Marching Band

The North Dakota State Bison football program represents North Dakota State University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level and competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison play in the 19,000 seat Fargodome located in Fargo. The Bison have won fifteen national championships and 35 conference championships. They won five-consecutive NCAA Division I FCS National Championships between 2011 and 2015 as well as two more in 2017 and 2018. NDSU is the only college football program to ever win five consecutive NCAA national championships, and the only football program to win seven FCS titles.

Since 2011, the North Dakota State Bison have a record of 112–8 (.933) which included a record 22 game playoff win streak, making them the most successful college football program in Division I this decade. The Bison are 166–35 (.826) since moving to Division I in 2004. Since 1964, the Bison have had only 3 losing seasons and an overall record of 515–137–4 (.788) through that 53-year span, one of the best in all of college football. North Dakota State currently has more all-time program wins than any non-Ivy League FCS program, over 700. Of all teams established after 1894, only Oklahoma has won a higher percentage of its games than NDSU. The team also has the record for the longest winning streak in FCS, which stands at 33 consecutive games spanning from 2012 to 2014. It is also tied for the 3rd longest streak in NCAA football during the past 50 years.[3]

In the final AP Football Poll of the 2013–14 season; after their third consecutive National Championship, North Dakota State finished with 17 votes which ranked them at #29 in all of D-I football, the highest end-of-season ranking of any team in the history of FCS football. After defeating 13th-ranked (FBS) Iowa in 2016, the Bison earned 74 votes and a #27 ranking in the entire D-I field, overtaking their previous record to become the highest-ranked FCS team of all time.[4]


Early history (1894–1921)[]

The Bison fielded their first team in 1894 and were originally known as the NDAC Farmers.[5] From the early 1900s to 1921, the nickname of the school then known as North Dakota Agricultural College was the Aggies. The first coach for the new NDAC football team was Henry Bolley, who also fielded the first football program at Purdue University in 1887 and was their first Quarterback. He challenged the University of North Dakota to a football match in 1890, but did not have enough players until 1894, the first official year of football at NDSU. In 1902, Eddie Cochems, known as the father of the forward pass was hired as head coach of the Bison where he experimented building an offense around his new technique; which subsequently became legal in the 1906 college football season; Cochems went 9–1 in his 2-year stint as head coach. The college hired famed Michigan halfback Paul Magoffin, the first player to ever catch a forward pass in 1907, as head coach, but he left for the head coaching position offered to him by George Washington University a year later. The 1918 season was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in conjunction with the first World War. The 1943 and 1944 seasons were also cancelled due to World War II and the shortage of eligible players. Keeping with their Michigan favoritism, the NDAC hired Stanley Borleske in 1919 to coach the football, basketball, and baseball teams. After six years of coaching and a 36–36–7 record, Borleske left for Fresno State but is largely cred with developing the Bison mascot. It was well known he was not a fan of the "Aggies" mascot, wanting something 'strong and fierce' he came up with the 'Bison' which remains the mascot today. He also coined the term "Thundering Herd" which is still a common reference to the NDSU Bison Football fanbase.[5]

Division II (1922–2003)[]

Oct 20th, 1928 – NDAC (NDSU) vs. St. Thomas (View looking SE with Ceres Hall in the distance) Courtesy: NDSU Institute for Regional Studies

In 1921, NDSU became a charter member of the now-defunct North Central Conference, which they remained affiliated with for 82 years until 2003. Their primary rival during this time were the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux (now the Fighting Hawks) whom they competed with to win the Nickel Trophy. As members of Division II, they won 8 national championships with an overall record of 347–94–4 having only 2 losing seasons from 1964–2003.

Division I-FCS (2004–present)[]

In 2004, all North Dakota State athletic teams moved to Division I. From 2004 to 2007, the Bison were members of the Great West Football Conference. Since 2008 they have been affiliated with the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Since moving to Division I, their primary rival are the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits whom they compete with each year for the Dakota Marker. The team's former head coach was Craig Bohl, who led the Bison from 2003 to 2013, holds the school record for most wins by a head coach, going 104–32 in his tenure at NDSU. Bohl's successor Chris Klieman went 69–6 in his five seasons (2014–2018). During the Bison's successful run to the 2018 FCS title, Klieman was named as the successor to the retiring Bill Snyder as head coach at Kansas State, though both schools agreed that Klieman would remain at NDSU while the Bison were involved in the FCS playoffs. Bison defensive coordinator Matt Entz took over as head coach following that season's championship game.[6]

The NDSU Bison are the only FCS program to ever be ranked higher than #34 in the AP National Football Poll. After the 2011 Championship Game, the Bison became only the third team in FCS history to receive votes in the final AP Top 25 with 2, putting them at #32 overall (FCS Record); the others being Appalachian State who receive 5 votes after their third consecutive FCS Championship in 2007 and ended at #34 and James Madison University after their 2010 upset of then #13 Virginia Tech.[7] After the 2012 season, the Bison again broke the barrier and became the first ever FCS team to breach the poll twice by receiving 1 vote and ending at #36 in the nation. Due to the overwhelming support and attention NDSU got during this run, ESPN announced that it would host its ESPN College GameDay program in downtown Fargo on September 21, 2013. The Bison ended up beating Delaware State 51–0 later that day. The Bison finished the 2013 regular season with an undefeated 11–0 record, their first perfect season since 1990. The Bison became the first FCS team to ever finish the regular season ranked on the AP Poll at #34 with 1 vote. After a perfect season (15–0) and winning their third consecutive championship game. After the 2013 season, the Bison were ranked #29 in the National Division I AP Poll, tallying a massive 17 votes, far beyond what any other FCS team had ever received. After defeating Iowa in 2016 the bison were ranked 27th in the AP Poll with 74 votes, the highest ranking of any team in FCS history.

2013 season

The 2013 team had a perfect 15–0 season, becoming the first program to do that since Marshall in 1996. They won their third consecutive national championship, tying an FCS record. A majority of the starters played in all 3 national championship games and went 43–2 in their 3-year stint, a number unrivaled in Division I FCS football. The Bison only lost 2 games in the three-year span by a combined 6 points. Through 2013, the Bison outscored their opponents by a combined 581–169 (+412) on the season. Only two other teams in FCS history have had a larger point spread through a season, 1996 Marshall (+448) and 1999 Georgia Southern (+485). Unlike the Marshall and Georgia Southern teams, NDSU's defense held their opponents to just 127 points in the regular season (11.5 ppg) and just 11 point on average through the playoffs that year. NDSU won its playoff games with an average margin of victory of 32.75 points, which just falls behind the 1996 Marshall team, which averaged a 34-point spread. In 2013, the Bison tallied three shutouts, and held nine teams to 10 points or less, including a streak of nine consecutive quarters without allowing a point. The offense was known for a ground-and-pound strategy, which wore opponents down and controlled the time of possession. The team averaged over 34 minutes of possession per game, while allowing an average of just 250 yards of opposing offense. In the 12 playoff games they played from 2011–13, they allowed an average of 9.3 points per game, an FCS record. The only playoff loss the seniors experienced in their 4-year career was the 38–31 OT loss at eventual champion Eastern Washington in 2010 in the FCS quarterfinals. The span of seasons that followed for NDSU in the years after that overtime loss are easily the best and most dominant years Division I football has seen from a single team.[8]


In 2014, after beating their 5th consecutive FBS team, Iowa State, and their subsequent game against Weber State; which was their 26th straight victory, ESPN again announced they would bring their College GameDay program back to downtown Fargo on September 13, 2014 to cover the Bison's amazing run for the second straight year. The visit marked first time the show has ever visited the same FCS school twice and only the 6th time they have visited a non-FBS school since 1993.The Bison won an FCS record 33 straight games from 2012 to 2014, which is also the 3rd longest in the history of Division 1 NCAA football. From 2010 to 2014, the Bison did not lose a single road game, a span of 22 games. They also had a winning streak of 26 home games (2012-2015) and have a record streak of 22 wins in the FCS playoffs. The Bison have won 16 straight home openers since their 1999 loss to Ferris State and are 21–1 in home openers since the Fargodome opened in 1992. 2015 would start with a surprise loss to #13 Montana broadcast nationally on ESPN, however the season would extend both the MVFC run and National Championship run to five consecutive titles culminating in a 37-10 national title game against Jacksonville State. After this season, quarterback Carson Wentz was selected second overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft.

2016 brought about one the high points in Bison football history when, in week three, NDSU defeated #13 ranked Iowa on the road. Despite the impressive win, 2016 would be the worst season for the team since 2010. Not only would the team have the least wins since 2010 (12), they also lost the Dakota Marker for the first time since 2009. Ultimately the season would bring about the end of the Bison's historic title run with a semifinal loss against the eventual champion James Madison Dukes.

2017 would be a return to form for NDSU, only two games all season were decided by one possession, the best mark since the 2013 season. On December 15th, NDSU became the only team in FCS history to make 7 consecutive semifinal appearances in the playoffs. In the title match the Bison would get revenge for the previous season defeating James Madison 17-13 in Frisco.

Collectively, the Bison have won 35 conference championships, and 15 national championships. They were selected as NCAA College Division II champions by polling three times (1965, 1968, 1969), won the NCAA Division II National Football Championship five times (1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990), and have won the NCAA Division I Football Championship seven times in eight seasons (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018).[9] From 2012 to 2014, the Bison had an FCS record of 33 straight wins, which is tied for the third longest in modern NCAA history. The Bison football program has had only 3 losing seasons since 1964.

Historically, only 5 teams established after 1893; Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Florida, and Clemson have won more total games than NDSU's 720.

2019 White House Visit[10]

On March 4th 2019 President Trump had the NDSU football team to the White House. They were served fast food (similarly to Clemson) in the east room of the White House. Easton Stick presented a number 45 NDSU football jersey to president Trump with the Presidents name located at the top of the jersey[11]. The visit was after their 7th National Championship in 8 years and was orchestrated by Senator John Hoeven. [12]


National championships[]

North Dakota State have won 15 national championships: three as a member of the College Division (precursor of Division II), five as a member of Division II, and seven as a member of Division I FCS. The Bison have been the runner-up three times (1967, 1981, 1984) and have appeared in a total of 18 national championship games.

Year Coach Selector Record Score Opponent
1965 Darrell Mudra NCAA College Division by Polling 11–0 20–7 Grambling
1968 Ron Erhardt 10–0 23–14 Arkansas State
1969 Ron Erhardt 10–0 30–3 Montana
1983 Don Morton NCAA DII Playoff 12–1 41–21 Central State
1985 Earle Solomonson 11–2–1 35–7 North Alabama
1986 Earle Solomonson 13–0 27–7 South Dakota
1988 Rocky Hager 14–0 35–21 Portland State
1990 Rocky Hager 14–0 51–11 IUP
2011 Craig Bohl NCAA DI (FCS) Playoff 14–1 17–6 Sam Houston State
2012 Craig Bohl 14–1 39–13 Sam Houston State
2013 Craig Bohl 15–0 35–7 Towson
2014 Chris Klieman 15–1 29–27 Illinois State
2015 Chris Klieman 13–2 37–10 Jacksonville State
2017 Chris Klieman 14–1 17–13 James Madison
2018 Chris Klieman 15–0 38-24 Eastern Washington

Conference championships[]

North Dakota State has won 35 conference championships, 23 outright and 12 shared; North Central Conference (26), Great West (1), Missouri Valley (8)

Season Conference Overall Record Conference Record Coach
1925† North Central Conference 13–8–2 4–0–2 Ion Cortright
1932 North Central Conference 7–1–1 4–0 Casey Finnegan
1935 North Central Conference 7–1–1 4–0–1 Casey Finnegan
1964† North Central Conference 10–1 5–1 Darrell Mudra
1965 North Central Conference 11–0 6–0 Darrell Mudra
1966† North Central Conference 8–2–0 5–1 Ron Erhardt
1967 North Central Conference 9–1 6–0 Ron Erhardt
1968 North Central Conference 10–0 6–0 Ron Erhardt
1969 North Central Conference 10–0 6–0 Ron Erhardt
1970 North Central Conference 9–0–1 6–0 Ron Erhardt
1972† North Central Conference 8–2 6–1 Ron Erhardt
1973† North Central Conference 8–2 6–1 Ev Kjelbertson
1974† North Central Conference 7–4 5–2 Ev Kjelbertson
1976 North Central Conference 9–3 6–0 Jim Wacker
1977 North Central Conference 9–2–1 6–0 Jim Wacker
1981 North Central Conference 10–3 7–0 Don Morton
1982 North Central Conference 12–1 7–0 Don Morton
1983 North Central Conference 12–1 8–1 Don Morton
1984† North Central Conference 11–2 8–1 Don Morton
1985 North Central Conference 11–2–1 7–1 Earle Solomonson
1986 North Central Conference 13–0 9–0 Earle Solomonson
1988 North Central Conference 14–0 9–0 Rocky Hager
1990 North Central Conference 14–0 9–0 Rocky Hager
1991 North Central Conference 7–3 7–1 Rocky Hager
1992 North Central Conference 10–2 8–1 Rocky Hager
1994† North Central Conference 9–3 7–2 Rocky Hager
2006 Great West Conference 10–1 4–0 Craig Bohl
2011 Missouri Valley Football Conference 14–1 7–1 Craig Bohl
2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference 14–1 7–1 Craig Bohl
2013 Missouri Valley Football Conference 15–0 8–0 Craig Bohl
2014 Missouri Valley Football Conference 15–1 7–1 Chris Klieman
2015 Missouri Valley Football Conference 13–2 7–1 Chris Klieman
2016 Missouri Valley Football Conference 12–2 7–1 Chris Klieman
2017 Missouri Valley Football Conference 14–1 7–1 Chris Klieman
2018 Missouri Valley Football Conference 15-0 8–0 Chris Klieman

† Co-champions

Playoff history[]

Division I FCS[]


North Dakota State has appeared in 9 straight NCAA Division I FCS playoffs. The Bison have an overall record of 32–2 in postseason play since becoming eligible in 2008, including a record streak of 22 consecutive playoff wins from 2011 to 2016. Since the beginning of 2011, NDSU has won 7 National Championships.

Year Seed Record Result Opponent Score Head Coach
Division I FCS (postseason playoffs with 20-team bracket)
2010 No. 16 2–1 First Round
Second Round
Robert Morris
No. 4 Montana State
No. 5 Eastern Washington
W 43–17
W 42–17
L 31–38 OT
Craig Bohl
2011 No. 2 4–0 Second Round
No. 17 James Madison
No. 6 Lehigh
No. 3 Georgia Southern
No. 1 Sam Houston State
W 26–14
W 24–0
W 35–7
W 17–6
Craig Bohl
2012 No. 1 4–0 Second Round
No. 19 South Dakota State
No. 9 Wofford
No. 6 Georgia Southern
No. 5 Sam Houston State
W 28–3
W 14–7
W 23–20
W 39–13
Craig Bohl
Division I (FCS) (postseason playoffs with 24-team bracket)
2013 No. 1 4–0 Second Round
No. 11 Coastal Carolina
No. 15 New Hampshire
No. 7 Towson
W 38–7
W 48–14
W 52–14
W 35–7
Craig Bohl
2014 No. 2 4–0 Second Round
No. 14 South Dakota State
No. 6 Coastal Carolina
No. 19 Sam Houston State
No. 5 Illinois State
W 27–24
W 39–32
W 35–3
W 29–27
Chris Klieman
2015 No. 3 4–0 Second Round
No. 16 Montana
No. 15 Northern Iowa
No. 7 Richmond
No. 1 Jacksonville State
W 37–6
W 23–13
W 33–7
W 37–10
Chris Klieman
2016 No. 1 2–1 Second Round
No. 24 San Diego
No. 8 South Dakota State
No. 4 James Madison
W 45–7
W 36–10
L 17–27
Chris Klieman
2017 No. 2 4–0 Second Round
San Diego
No. 8 Wofford
No. 6 Sam Houston State
No. 1 James Madison
W 38–3
W 42–10
W 55–13
W 17–13
Chris Klieman
2018 No. 1 4–0 Second Round
No. 23 Montana State
No. 9 Colgate
No. 5 South Dakota State
No. 3 Eastern Washington
W 52–10
W 35–0
W 44–21
W 38–24
Chris Klieman
9 32–2 (.941) 1,074–444

Division II[]


North Dakota State appeared in 23 NCAA Division II postseasons from 1964 to 2003. During this stretch NDSU compiled a 347–94–4 record winning almost 80% of their games for four decades and claiming eight Championships along the way. NDSU appeared in seven out of 10 Championship games from 1981–1990; including appearing in four straight Championship games, an unrivaled number in DII as they posted a 111–16–2 (.875) mark from 1981–1990. While this is a startling record, from 1964 to 1973 the Bison went 90–12–1 (.887) which included a 35-game unbeaten streak.

Year Record Result Game Opponent Score Head Coach
College Division (rankings via AP writers poll)
1964 1–0 unranked Mineral Water Bowl Western State W 14–13 Darrell Mudra
1965 1–0 AP No. 1 Pecan Bowl Grambling State W 20–7 Darrell Mudra
1967 0–1 AP No. 2 Pecan Bowl Texas-Arlington L 13–10 Ron Erhardt
1968 1–0 AP No. 1 Pecan Bowl Arkansas State W 23–14 Ron Erhardt
1969 1–0 AP No. 1 Camellia Bowl Montana W 30–3 Ron Erhardt
1970 1–0 AP No. 3 Camellia Bowl Montana W 31–16 Ron Erhardt
Division II (postseason playoffs with 8-team bracket)
1976 1–1 3rd Place First round
Grantland Rice Bowl
Eastern Kentucky
Montana State
W 10–7
L 10–3
Jim Wacker
1977 1–1 3rd Place First round
Grantland Rice Bowl
Northern Michigan
Jacksonville State
W 20–6
L 31–7
Jim Wacker
1981 2–1 Runner Up First round
Puget Sound
Shippensburg State
Southwest Texas State
W 24–10
W 18–6
L 42–13
Don Morton
1982 1–1 3rd Place First round
Virginia Union
UC Davis
W 21–20
L 19–14
Don Morton
1983 3–0 Champions First round
Towson State
UC Davis
Central State
W 24–17
W 26–17
W 41–21
Don Morton
1984 2–1 Runner Up* First round
UC Davis
Troy State
W 31–25
W 25–14
L 18–17
Don Morton
1985 3–0 Champions First round
UC Davis
South Dakota
North Alabama
W 31–12
W 16–7
W 35–7
Earle Solomonson
1986 3–0 Champions First round
Central State
South Dakota
W 50–0
W 35–12
W 27–7
Earle Solomonson
Division II (postseason playoffs with 16-team bracket)
1988 4–0 Champions First round
Augustana (SD)
Sacramento State
Portland State
W 41–7
W 36–26
W 42–20
W 35–21
Rocky Hager
1989 1–1 First round
Jacksonville State
W 45–32
L 21–17
Rocky Hager
1990 4–0 Champions First round
Northern Colorado
Cal Poly–SLO
Pittsburg State
W 17–7
W 47–0
W 39–29
W 51–11
Rocky Hager
1991 0–1 First round Mankato State L 27–7 Rocky Hager
1992 1–1 First round
Northeast Missouri State
Pittsburg State
W 42–7
L 38–37 (OT)
Rocky Hager
1994 1–1 First round
Pittsburg State
North Dakota
W 18–12 (3OT)
L 14–7
Rocky Hager
1995 1–1 First round
North Dakota
Pittsburg State
L 9–7
Rocky Hager
1997 0–1 First round Northwest Missouri State L 39–28 Bob Babich
2000 2–1 First round
No. 1 Northwest Missouri State
No. 5 Nebraska–Omaha
No. 11 Delta State
W 31–17
W 43–21
L 34–16
Bob Babich
Totals 35–13 (.729)

Head coaches[]

Matt Entz is the 31st and current head coach of the Bison, taking over after the team won the 2018 FCS championship game. He succeeded Chris Klieman, who was named as the replacement for the retiring Bill Snyder as head coach of Kansas State University during the 2018 playoff run. Klieman continued to serve as the Bison's head coach throughout NDSU's playoff run, finishing his five seasons in Fargo (2014–2018) with a 69–6 record and four FCS national championships, failing to win the title only in 2016. Craig Bohl holds the record for most wins in school history with 104 in his 11-year career averaging over 9.5 wins per season. Rocky Hager and Klieman hold the record for most conference titles won with 5.

# Coach Years active Record Conference titles National championships
1 Henry Luke Bolley 1894–1899 7–8–1 No Affiliation
2 Jack Harrison 1900–1901 15–1–1 No Affiliation
3 Eddie Cochems 1902–1903 9–1–0 No Affiliation
4 A. L. Marshall 1904–1905 4–7–1 No Affiliation
5 Gil Dobie 1906–1907 7–0–0 No Affiliation
6 Paul Magoffin 1908 2–3–0 No Affiliation
7 Arthur Reuber 1909–1912 12–7–1 No Affiliation
8 Howard Wood 1913–1914 5–5–2 No Affiliation
9 Paul J. Davis 1915–1917 10–7–1 No Affiliation
10 Stanley Borleske 1919–1921, 1923–1924, 1928 17–14–4 0
11 Joe Cutting 1922 6–2–0 0
12 Ion Cortright 1925–1927 13–8–2 1
13 Casey Finnegan 1928–1940 57–49–11 2
14 Stan Kostka 1941, 1946–1947 8–17–0 0
15 Robert A. Lowe 1942–1945 3–9–2 0
16 Howard Bliss 1948–1949 3–16–0 0
17 Mac Wenskunas 1950–1953 11–21–1 0
18 Del Anderson 1954–1955 1–16–1 0
19 Les Luymes 1956 5–4–0 0
20 Bob Danielson 1957–1962 13–39–2 0
21 Darrell Mudra 1963–1965 24–6–0 2 1965
22 Ron Erhardt 1966–1972 61–7–1 6 1968, 1969
23 Ev Kjelbertson 1973–1975 17–13–0 2
24 Jim Wacker 1976–1978 24–9–1 2
25 Don Morton 1979–1984 57–15–0 4 1983
26 Earle Solomonson 1985–1986 24–2–1 2 1985, 1986
27 Rocky Hager 1987–1996 91–25–1 5 1988, 1990
28 Bob Babich 1997–2002 46–22 0
29 Craig Bohl 2003–2013 104–32 4 2011, 2012, 2013
30 Chris Klieman 2014–2018 69–6 5 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
31 Matt Entz 2019– 0–0 0


The Fargodome during a North Dakota State Bison Football Game

The Bison have played in the Fargodome since it opened in 1993. It holds 18,700 for football games and over 19,000 including standing room only tickets. The record attendance at the Fargodome is 19,108 when the Bison played Missouri State on October 12, 2013. The Bison have only lost one playoff game in the history of the Fargodome. The tremendous crowd noise caused by the Fargodome's steel roof disrupts many opposing offenses and creates one of the best home field advantages in college football

Football Records in the Fargodome

In 2011, the Fargodome was ranked as the 49th best stadium in all of college football.[13] The article cites, "There aren't many indoor venues in college football, but the few that do exist at the non-FBS level are very unfriendly to any visiting team. That effect is only amplified in a playoff atmosphere." The Fargodome is routinely ranked as one of the loudest college football stadiums in the country. In 2016, Stadium Journey ranked the Fargodome as the #2 Best FCS stadium to experience a game in [14] On December 10, 2011 in a game against Lehigh, the crowd noise was measured at 111 decibels, comparable to when the New Orleans Saints play in the Superdome. During the 2011 playoffs, the decibel level spiked past 130 decibels several times but was not an official measurement.[15][16] On December 14, 2012 in an FCS semifinal game against Georgia Southern, the crowd noise exceeded the 115 decibel mark and was known to be one of the loudest games in NDSU history. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead conducted an informal study of Fargodome crowd noise from the press box during a playoff semifinal game last December. The readings showed a high of 111 decibels following a late touchdown by quarterback Brock Jensen. The decibel meter consistently read 102–106 throughout that game, according to The Forum. During the 2013 Furman playoff game, the crowd noise was measured at 115 decibels.[17] During the 2015 playoffs against Montana, the crowd noise measured 120 decibels, the Bison beat the Grizzlies 37–6, avenging their season-opening loss in Missoula. The record for the loudest indoor stadium crowd was set in 2013 at the Sacramento Kings' former home of Sleep Train Arena at 126 decibels. Due to the notorious noise, the Fargodome is sometimes referred to as the "Thunderdome". An example of this loudness can be found when the Bison offense advances the ball and gets a "first down". The announcer says over the loud speaker, "With that carry/pass, thats another Bison", in which the crowd loudly responds in unison "FIRST DOWN...AH MOVE THE CHAINS". Although an announcer declaring a "first down" is not unique to the Fargodome, the audience's response along with the prompt to move the chains is fairly unique to the Fargodome. This tradition was started in approximately 1998 when NDSU alumnus Brian Schumacher was a student. Frequently after a "first down" was gained by NDSU, you would hear Schumacher screaming at the officials to "AH, MOVE THE CHAINS", and it quickly became a tradition.

Prior to the Fargodome, the team played for at Dacotah Field from 1910–1992.

Records and streaks[]

FCS records[]

Division II Records[]

Missouri Valley Football Conference Records[]

Current streaks[]

All are consecutive/straight and currently ongoing

Record against FBS competition[]

Overall (9–3)

Season Opponent Division Result Score Record
2006 Ball State MAC W 29–24 1–0
Minnesota Big Ten L 9–10 1–1
2007 Central Michigan MAC W 44–14 2–1
Minnesota Big Ten W 27–21 3–1
2008 Wyoming Mtn West L 13–16 3–2
2009 Iowa State Big 12 L 17–34 3–3
2010 Kansas Big 12 W 6–3 4–3
2011 Minnesota Big Ten W 37–24 5–3
2012 Colorado State Mtn West W 22–7 6–3
2013 Kansas State Big 12 W 24–21 7–3
2014 Iowa State Big 12 W 34–14 8–3
2016 #13 Iowa Big Ten W 23–21 9–3
2020 Oregon Pac-12
2022 Arizona Pac-12
2024 Colorado Pac-12

Record against Missouri Valley Football Conference[]

North Dakota State has a winning record against every team in the Missouri Valley Conference except the Northern Iowa Panthers, against whom they are tied at 26-26.

Team Record Winning %
Illinois State 9–2 .818
Indiana State 9–1 .900
Missouri State 9–2 .818
South Dakota 55–26–3 .673
South Dakota State 62–42–5 .592
Southern Illinois 8–3 .727
Northern Iowa 26–26 .500
Western Illinois 9–2 .818
Youngstown State 9–4 .692


This list only covers All-Americans since NDSU joined the FCS in 2004.

Year Player Position First team Second team Third team
2015 Ben LeCompte P STATS AP
2015 Joe Haeg OL AP, STATS
2016 Greg Menard DL
2016 Chase Morlock FB STATS
2016 James Fisher LS STATS
2016 Tre Dempsey DB STATS
2016 Landon Lechler OL AP
2016 Zack Johnson OL AP, STATS
2017 Robbie Grimsley DB STATS
2017 James Fisher LS STATS
2017 Nick DeLuca LB AP, STATS
2017 Austin Kuhnhart OL AP, STATS
2018 Darrius Shepherd RS STATS
2018 Garret Wegner P AP, STATS
2018 Zack Johnson OL STATS AP
2018 Jabril Cox LB AP, STATS
2018 Greg Menard DL AP STATS
2018 Robbie Grimsley DB AP, STATS
2018 Tanner Volson C AP, STATS
2018 Easton Stick QB AP STATS
References:;[20][21] Key:      * First team;      Second team;      Third team. For expansions of abbreviations see the glossary.


All-Time statistical leaders[]

Single-game leaders[]

Single-season leaders[]

Career leaders[]

Denotes FCS Record

Bison Records[]

Bison in the NFL Draft[]


*Note: This list only includes players taken in the NFL Draft, it does not include those players who signed contracts with NFL teams outside the draft and the CFL.

Year drafted Round Pick in round Overall Pick Player Team Position Notes
2016 1 2 2 Carson Wentz Eagles QB Highest FCS player ever taken in the NFL Draft. First NDSU Quarterback to be drafted. Super Bowl LII Champion.
2016 5 16 155 Joe Haeg Colts OT
2015 5 17 153 Kyle Emanuel Chargers LB
2014 3 3 67 Billy Turner Dolphins T
2009 7 33 242 Nick Schommer Titans DB
2008 6 34 200 Joe Mays Eagles LB
2005 5 29 165 Rob Hunt Colts C
2002 3 19 84 Lamar Gordon Rams RB
2002 7 2 213 Pete Campion Panthers G
1991 2 27 54 Phil Hansen Bills DE
1989 6 17 156 Doug Lloyd Raiders RB
1989 9 13 236 Monte Smith Broncos G
1987 12 22 329 Chad Stark Giants RB
1987 12 27 334 Tyrone Braxton Broncos DB Second NDSU Graduate to win a Super Bowl Ring (XXXII, XXXIII)
1985 2 18 46 Stacy Robinson Giants WR First NDSU Graduate to win a Super Bowl Ring
1984 5 19 131 Dave Piepkorn Browns T
1981 7 5 171 Kevin Donnalley Cardinals DB
1979 9 12 232 Gordy Sprattler Jets RB
1977 11 1 280 Chuck Rodgers Buccaneers DB
1975 9 26 234 Bruce Reimer Steelers RB
1975 12 6 292 Jerry Dahl Chargers LB
1974 2 8 34 Steve Nelson Patriots LB Donated Snowplow Game game ball to NDSU
1974 10 4 238 Mike Puestow Browns WR
1974 16 16 406 Sanford Quale Bills T
1973 15 2 366 Mike Evenson Saints C
1973 17 18 434 Bob Erickson 49ers G
1972 8 10 192 Ralph Wirtz Bears WR
1970 8 15 197 Tim Mjos Packers RB
1970 14 13 351 Chuck Wald Falcons WR
1969 10 12 246 Bruce Nelson Packers T
1969 11 11 271 Mike Berdis Dolphins T
1968 17 26 461 Ken Rota Packers RB
1966 14 14 214 Ron Hanson Packers WR
1965 13 14 182 Bruce Airheart Colts RB
1953 24 11 288 Marlow Gudmundson Rams B
1948 30 6 281 Clarence McGeary Packers T
1947 19 4 169 Jerry Mulready Steelers B
1939 5 2 32 Ernie Wheeler Steelers B[22] First NDSU player ever taken in the draft, highest pick until Carson Wentz was drafted #2 overall in 2016.

NDSU players currently in the NFL[]

Player Years Position Team
Carson Wentz 2016- QB Philadelphia Eagles
Joe Haeg 2016- OT Indianapolis Colts
Kyle Emanuel 2015- LB Los Angeles Chargers
Billy Turner 2014- OT Denver Broncos
Marcus Williams 2014- CB Chicago Bears
Ramon Humber 2009- LB New England Patriots
Chris Board 2018- LB Baltimore Ravens

Future non-conference opponents[]

Announced schedules as of March 3, 2019.[23]

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
vs Butler (at Target Field) at Oregon at Arizona at Colorado
vs North Dakota vs Drake
at Delaware vs North Carolina A&T
vs UC Davis


  1. ^ "Sources: UND set to leave Big Sky Conference". 2017-01-25.
  2. ^ NDSU Bison Graphic Standards (PDF). May 23, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "North Dakota State Bison".
  4. ^ "2016 College Football Rankings - Week 4".
  5. ^ a b "NDSU Quick Facts".
  6. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (December 13, 2018). "North Dakota St. promotes defensive coordinator Matt Entz to head coach". Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  7. ^ KRMG News Retrieved December 13, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Jeff Kolpack. "Montana, NDSU boast two of best teams in FCS history". INFORUM.
  9. ^ Haley, Craig. "In the FCS Huddle: FCS champ North Dakota State goes back-to-back". Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Ranking the Greatest Stadiums in College Football, Final 2011 Edition". Bleacher Report. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  14. ^ Paul Donaldson. "2015 FCS College Football Stadium Experience Rankings - Stadium Journey - Scout". Stadium Journey. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  15. ^ "Fcs Preview | Indiana Sports Page Football". Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  16. ^ "I Can't Hear You" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  17. ^ "NDSU fans reach 115 decibels at playoff game – NDSU News (NDSU)".
  18. ^ "North Dakota State University Athletics - Bison Look to Keep Sole Possession of First Place Saturday at Northern Iowa". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  19. ^ "North Dakota State University Athletics - Top-Five Matchup Saturday When Bison Host Griz in Trees Bowl". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  20. ^ "Consensus All-America Selections: Maryland", 2007 NCAA Division I Football Records Book (PDF), p. 226, National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2007.
  21. ^ ACC All-Americans (PDF), 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Media Guide, Atlantic Coast Conference, 2007.
  22. ^ "".
  23. ^ "North Dakota State Bison Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 3 March 2019.

External links[]