I’m going to talk more about this on the Gate City Media Blog Pregame Show starting at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on www.inforum.com, www.bisonmediazone.com and www.wday.com, but NDSU’s performances at night in the last three years haven’t exactly been off the charts. Take away the 2014 and 2015 semifinal games on Friday night (beatdowns of Richmond in 2015 and Sam Houston in 2014) and there have been victories but not those signature wins.
Last year’s season opener against Charleston Southern was a 24-17 overtime win. The other regular season night game that year was at Western Illinois, which resulted in a 21-13 win, a game in which the Bison were shut out in the second half. Then, of course, was the Friday night loss to James Madison that ended the five-year title run of the Bison. The Dukes scored 10 fourth-quarter points to win 27-17.
In 2015 was the 28-7 victory at South Dakota State, which was a Bison defensive masterpiece but the Jacks also had Zach Lujan at quarterback, who didn’t exactly tear teams up like Taryn Christion has done. Lujan was 19 of 38 that game.
The 2014 season saw the Bison struggle past Weber State, which went down as Carson Wentz’s worst game in his two years as a starter. The Bison needed a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Carlton Littlejohn to create some space with the Wildcats. Wentz was 13 of 22 with two interceptions in a game that NDSU needed to win to host ESPN’s “College GameDay” the following week. There just wasn’t much flow to that effort.
Maybe night games just bring a different vibe, it mostly like will Saturday night in Youngstown. It’s seems pretty likely the Penguins will bring their A intensity game; the Bison will have to, also.