2022 FCS Championship Preview: Montana State Bobcats vs North Dakota State Bison
05 January 2022
— Saturday, January 08th Montana State Bobcats @ North Dakota State Bison
As the NCAA football season approaches its end, everything is set for the FCS Championship game at Toyota Stadium in Dallas, TX. The Montana State Bobcats are now ready to take on the North Dakota Bison for the Football Championship Subdivision title on January 8, at 12:00 PM ET.
For the Bobcats, a 12-2 season record and 4-1 record over their last five performances back up their solid effort before their championship matchup against North Dakota State, even emerging as underdogs throughout the entire semifinal stage.
As for North Dakota State, the picture is distinct, and they are still the favorites to take on the FCS Championship title. The Bison's almost flawless 13-1 season record and eight overall championship titles to back up their winning streak since 2011 have made them the most solid squad in the FCS division over the last decade.
Montana State Bobcats: Underdogs' Big Shot for the Championship
With the odds against them at the last minute, the Bobcats were able to pull together a solid performance vs. the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the semifinal stage to set themselves up for this championship matchup.
Aside from a 31-17 win over Jackrabbits on December 18, the Bobcats' 30 points per game average are supported by having the third-best rushing leader on their squad and has allowed Montana State not to let go of their championship hopes. The Bobcat's Isaiah Ifanse led the team with 1,539 rushing yards and is perhaps the key to breaking the Bison's defense.
The Bobcats have a second chance to make an appearance for the division title. Since their 1984 victory over Rhode Island, Montana State will have to use their 13th overall defensive rank throughout the regular season to sustain one of the strongest offensives in the league.
Bison Pursue Ninth Championship in 11 Years
The Bison have only missed out on a championship final on two occasions over the last decade, in 2016 and 2020. Their dominance has extended over to the 2021 season, with an offense that's averaging 33.8 points per game, about 13 more points than their rivals.
North Dakota State defeated James Madison 20-14 in the semifinals and proved that their 426.3 yards per game will be a big problem for their Montana State rivals.
The Bison are currently rated at 97.124 with a tremendous offensive line, backed up by a defense that has only allowed 259.7 yards per game. There's no doubt this squad should be the favorite in the FCS Championship game.
Dunkel Index Pick for Montana State vs. North Dakota State
Although Montana State has delivered a solid defensive effort this season, it might not be enough to beat the most dominant team in the division. The Bobcats have allowed 160 rushing yards less than their rivals and have been able to cause 19 turnovers this season. That’s nine more than North Dakota State.
The Bobcats' offensive production must be able to match that of their Bison counterparts. Unfortunately, only one team throughout the regular season was able to do so.
There’s a clear favorite for this game. According to the Dunkel ratings, Montana stands at 81.168 and North Dakota State at 97.124. The Dunkel line and total favors North Dakota State by 16, and a game total of 46. The Vegas line and total has North Dakota State leading by 7½ on a total of 42½.
Dunkel Pick: North Dakota State (-7½) and the Over hits.
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