FFCS Championship: North Dakota State vs Montana State prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, January 8
FCS Championship: North Dakota State vs Montana State How To Watch
Date: Saturday, January 8
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: North Dakota State (13-1), Montana State (12-2)
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FCS Championship: North Dakota State vs Montana State Game Preview
Why Montana State Will Win
Montana State did the work for the North Dakota State, taking out a South Dakota State team that handed the Bison their only loss of the year.
The Bobcats got a massive day from QB Tommy Mellott in his amazing run through the FCS playoffs.
Starting quarterback Matt McKay entered the transfer portal just before the playoff started, Mellott stepped in and has been brilliant with four touchdown passes and no picks to go along with 339 rushing yards and six scores over the three games.
His job is to keep on running – and not turn the ball over.
The Montana State offense was among the best in the FCS in turnover margin helped by a fantastic offensive front that doesn’t allow much of anything in the backfield.
The formula is simple for the Bobcats. Don’t make mistakes – they don’t get penalized – rely on the defense, make tons of timely plays in the backfield, and capitalize on everything.
Why North Dakota State Will Win
North Dakota State can play that game, too.
Turnovers aren’t a problem for the Bison. There aren’t enough flags to get into a twist over, and the defense led the nation in points allowed throughout the FCS season.
The formula for North Dakota State is simple. Own third downs on both sides of the ball. Repeat.
The offense can put up points in bunches, but it’s the other side of the ball that should be able to take over. The D allowed over 24 points just once all year – the 27-19 loss to South Dakota State – and allowed 20 or fewer in 13 games.
The D has been on a dominant run in the FCS playoffs – allowing 24 points over the three games – and now it gets to focus on stopping Mellott, unless …
What’s Going To Happen
Can Montana State get healthy again?
It was able to get by South Dakota State without a few key parts, but the one guy it needs to have back is leading rusher Isaiah Ifanse – who ran for over 1,500 yards and ten scores, but missed the South Dakota State game.
The Bobcats have been able to find ways all year to push through bumps and bruises, and they got through the late-season quarterback change.
However, North Dakota State is too good defensively to let anyone in the Montana State backfield go off.
Mellott has been great, but he’s not going to be able to bomb away quite like he did against South Dakota State. He’ll be fine, though, and the defense will keep this game in range throughout.
North Dakota State will control things just a wee bit more.
FCS Championship: North Dakota State vs Montana State Prediction, Lines
North Dakota State 23, Montana State 17
Line: North Dakota State -7.5, o/u: 42.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 5
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