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North Dakota State shuts out South Dakota 42-0

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Sam Ojuri and John Crockett ran for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns each to lead North Dakota State to its first unbeaten regular season since 1990 with a 42-0 win over South Dakota on Saturday.

The top-ranked Bison (11-0, 8-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference) presented head coach Craig Bohl with his 100th career victory at NDSU.

“I'm proud of our guys,” Bohl said. “It's certainly special. We earned a (playoff) bye and we're going to take some time off.”

The milestone win means two-time national champion NDSU will be the top seed for the FCS playoffs. The Bison have won 20 straight games overall and 11 straight at home.

Ojuri had 118 yards and touchdowns of 1 and 55 yards. Crocket added 116 yards and two 28-yard TD runs.

The Bison had 553 yards of total offense, with 296 on the ground. South Dakota (4-8, 3-5) managed just 214 total yards and 113 rushing.

NDSU quarterback Brock Jensen sat the fourth quarter after completing 16 of 22 passes for 230 yards and two scores. He became the winningest FCS quarterback with 44 victories, breaking a tie with Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards.

Jensen threw a 64-yard TD pass to Ryan Smith and a 22-yarder to Zach Vraa. It was Vraa's 11th TD reception of the season, tying the school record.

It was Vraa's third trip to the end zone in the game. His first was ruled a no catch and his second was called back by a penalty.

Smith had four catches for 111 yards.

South Dakota's Jordan Roberts ran 20 times for 107 yards. That was more than the 101 passing yards by USD quarterback Kevin Earl.

NDSU held 10 of 11 teams scoreless in the fourth quarter. Missouri State was the only team to score against the Bison in the last quarter this season.

The Coyotes had the ball just two possessions in the fourth quarter and never got past their own 41. They got into NDSU territory just twice. Their deepest march went to the Bison 19 before Earl threw an interception in the end zone.

“We were hoping for a little bit better than this, obviously. They were way too much for us,” South Dakota coach Joe Glenn said. “It's as good a football team in this division as I have ever seen.”

NDSU has won 11 straight MVFC games to move within one of the conference record held by Northern Iowa.

The Bison have been ranked No. 1 every week of the season.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.