Quarterback Easton Stick ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns and threw for another score to help North Dakota State defeat rival South Dakota State 44-21 in the FCS semifinals Friday night.
Bruce Anderson added two rushing touchdowns for the undefeated and top-seeded Bison (14-0), who will be seeking their seventh FCS title in the last eight years.
North Dakota State led 14-7 at intermission and then won a shootout in the second half.
Stick finished with 316 total yards. Anderson and fellow running back Seth Wilson combined for another 165 yards rushing.
Taryn Christion threw for a pair of touchdowns for South Dakota State (10-3) and Pierre Strong Jr. ran for 135 yards and one score.
The victory capped a whirlwind week for the Bison football program, which lost head coach Chris Klieman to Kansas State and then promoted defensive coordinator Matt Entz to the top job. Klieman will coach the Bison in the Jan. 5 title game in Frisco, Texas.
The Jackrabbits are 0-4 against the Bison in the playoffs. They lost for the second straight year in the semifinals.
Alabama and durkin
Former Maryland coach DJ Durkin (Boardman High School) is spending time with the Alabama football staff but hasn’t been hired.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said in a statement Friday that Durkin “is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint.” Saban says Durkin hasn’t been “hired in any capacity” but is observing Alabama’s football operations as other coaches have done.
Durkin was fired Oct. 31 after an investigation into the death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair. Durkin faced allegations of bullying and intimidation by himself and one of his assistants. He spent more than two months on administrative leave while independent investigations were conducted into McNair’s death and the culture surrounding the team.
Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley has been hired to replace Durkin at Maryland.