North Dakota State Hosts Drake Saturday in Season Opener

THIS WEEK: North Dakota State opens the 2022 football season this Saturday, Sept. 3, against the Drake Bulldogs from the Pioneer Football League. Game time is 2:30 p.m. at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome (18,700).
TICKETS: Tickets for NDSU home games are available online at or by calling the Bison Ticket Office in the south lobby of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex at (701) 231-6378 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Game day ticket sales at the Fargodome begin 5 hours prior to kickoff.
TELEVISION: The statewide ABC network of WDAY (Fargo), WDAZ (Grand Forks), KBMY (Bismarck/Dickinson) and KMCY (Minot/Williston) will have live coverage beginning at 2:20 p.m. with Dom Izzo (play-by-play), Kyle Emanuel (analyst) and Logan Campbell (sideline). The broadcast will also be available to ESPN+ subscribers on and the ESPN app.
RADIO: Statewide coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. on the Pioneer Seeds Bison Radio Network including Bison 1660 and 107.9 The Fox in Fargo with Rob Hipp (play-by-play), Phil Hansen (analyst) and Cole Jirik (sideline). The network broadcast includes 1-hour pregame and 30-minute postgame shows. Streaming is available on and the NDSU Athletics mobile app.
RAISING THE BANNER: Prior to Saturday’s game, NDSU’s national championship banner will be raised inside the Fargodome to commemorate the 2021 season. The Bison won their ninth NCAA FCS national title in 11 years defeating Montana State 38-10 to finish the year with a 14-1 record. It was the 17th national championship in program history. NDSU also won its 10th Missouri Valley Football Conference title with a 7-1 league record.
THE SERIES: North Dakota State and Drake are meeting on the football field for the first time in nearly 60 years. Drake won the two previous games 40-6 in 1962 and 28-6 in 1955. Both of those contests were played in Des Moines. NDSU is 5-0 against teams from the Pioneer Football League including last year’s 64-0 home win over Valparaiso. Drake has lost 10 straight against Missouri Valley Football Conference teams since a 27-24 come-from-behind road win over Illinois State in 2007.
SEASON OPENERS: This is the 126th season-opening game for the Bison. North Dakota State is 88-31-6 in season openers including last year’s 28-6 win over Albany and the Bison have won six straight since a 38-35 loss at Montana in 2015.
HOME OPENERS: This is the 125th home opener for the Bison. (NDSU does not list any home games in 1899.) North Dakota State has a 97-22-5 record including last year’s 28-6 win over Albany, and the Bison have won 23 straight home openers since a 23-21 loss to Emporia State in 1998.
BISON PICKED TO WIN: North Dakota State received 39 of 41 first-place votes to claim the top spot in a preseason poll of the Missouri Valley Football Conference head coaches, media and sports information directors. South Dakota State had the remaining two votes in second place followed by Missouri State third, Southern Illinois fourth, Northern Iowa fifth, South Dakota sixth and North Dakota seventh. Illinois State, Youngstown State, Indiana State and Western Illinois rounded out the poll in order eighth through 11th.
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE: Twelve NDSU players were named to the Preseason All-MVFC Team including four on the first team: fullback Hunter Luepke, left tackle Cody Mauch, defensive tackle Eli Mostaert and safety Michael Tutsie. NDSU’s eight preseason second-team honorees were running back Kobe Johnson, tight end Noah Gindorff, left guard Nash Jensen, defensive end Spencer Waege, linebacker James Kaczor, cornerback Destin Talbert, safety Dawson Weber and return specialist Jayden Price.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: North Dakota State had nine players named to preseason All-America teams. Fullback Hunter Luepke, tight end Noah Gindorff, left tackle Cody Mauch and safety Michael Tutsie, left guard Nash Jensen and defensive tackle Eli Mostaert were recognized by HERO Sports. Luepke, Mauch, Tutsie, defensive end Spencer Waege, linebacker James Kaczor and punt returner Jayden Price were recognized by Stats Perform.
SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST: North Dakota State fullback Hunter Luepke, tight end Noah Gindorff and left tackle Cody Mauch were among the NFL prospects on the preseason watch list for the Reese’s Senior Bowl, widely regarded as the top college football all-star game. The Bison have had 11 players selected including wide receiver Christian Watson last year.
AWARD WATCH LISTS: Fullback Hunter Luepke was named to the preseason watch list for the Walter Payton Award presented to the FCS Offensive Player of the Year, and defensive end Spencer Waege, linebacker James Kaczor and safety Michael Tutsie were named to the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award presented to the FCS Defensive Player of the Year. Additionally, NDSU’s Kaedin Steindorf was named to the FCS Punter of the Year watch list.
CAPTAINS NAMED: North Dakota State has selected six captains for the 2022 season: running back Kobe Johnson, cornerback Destin Talbert, safety Michael Tutsie, left tackle Cody Mauch, tight end Noah Gindorff and defensive end Spencer Waege. Tutsie and Gindorff were among the captains last season.
BISON AT HOME: The Bison have a 176-27 record in the Fargodome, 31-5 at home against FCS Top 10 ranked teams, and winners of 74 of the last 76 home games over non-conference opponents. North Dakota State has a 31-1 record in the Fargodome during the NCAA playoffs since 2010 with the only loss coming to eventual national champion James Madison in the 2016 semifinals. NDSU’s 32-game home winning streak in the Fargodome from September 2017 through April 2021 was the fourth longest in NCAA FCS history.
ON THE ROAD: North Dakota State has a 47-6 record in true road games since 2011, and that record is 58-6 including 11 neutral site games over the same span. NDSU’s 2-2 road record in the spring season of 2020-21 was the first time since 2010 the Bison have lost multiple road games.
BISON RETURNING TO TWIN CITIES: North Dakota State will host Eastern Washington on the opening weekend of the 2023 season at U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. NDSU drew a crowd of 34,544 fans to the 2019 season opener against Butler at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.
#PROBISON: North Dakota State has 16 former players with NFL clubs this preseason. The list includes Broncos OL Billy Turner (9th year), Commanders QB Carson Wentz (7th), Steelers OL Joe Haeg (7th), Lions LB Chris Board (5th), Chargers QB Easton Stick (4th), Broncos WR Darrius Shepherd (4th), Vikings TE Ben Ellefson (3rd), Steelers LB Derrek Tuszka (3rd), Broncos OL Zack Johnson (3rd), 49ers QB Trey Lance (2nd), Titans OL Dillon Radunz (2nd), Cowboys LB Jabril Cox (2nd), Packers WR Christian Watson (1st), Bengals OL Cordell Volson (1st), Panthers TE Josh Babicz (1st) and Rams LB Brayden Thomas (1st).
FIRST FBS GAME IN SIX YEARS: North Dakota State’s game at Arizona on Sept. 17 will be six years to the day from NDSU’s last FBS game in 2016 at Iowa. North Dakota State is 9-3 against FBS opponents and has won six in a row since 2010 with wins at Kansas (6-3), Minnesota (37-24), Colorado State (22-7), Kansas State (24-21), Iowa State (34-14) and 11th-ranked Iowa (23-21). NDSU’s first three FBS wins were against Ball State (2006), Central Michigan (2007) and Minnesota (2007). North Dakota State has future FBS games against Colorado (2024) and Oregon (2028).

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