football-fcs flag

Stan Becton | | September 30, 2023

South Dakota spoils No. 2 North Dakota State's Homecoming with upset

South Dakota St. QB Mark Gronowski breaks down thrilling win over Montana St.

FARGO, N.D.  — For the first time since 2015, South Dakota defeated No. 2 North Dakota State, with the Coyotes holding off the Bison 24-19 at the Fargodome.

South Dakota took control of the game early, stunning North Dakota State and hushing the passionate Bison fans after jumping out to a 21-3 lead at halftime. Quarterback Aidan Bouman stole the show early, throwing only two incompletions on his first two drives while leading the Coyotes to a 14-3 lead. 

On the next drive — after an interception from North Dakota State quarterback Cam Miller — Bouman found wide receiver Carter Bell for his second touchdown pass of the day. Just two quarters in, the Coyote signal-caller matched his touchdowns and incompletions.

HOW IT HAPPENED: See complete stats from South Dakota's upset

However, North Dakota State is a championship-caliber team, meaning you can never count out the Bison. They rallied in the third quarter, dominating the time of possession and allowing the Coyotes to have the ball for just three plays. Ball control plus North Dakota State quarterback Cole Payton scoring a touchdown during the third quarter swung the momentum back to the Bison on their Homecoming. By 11:10 in the fourth quarter, the Bison cut the lead to one possession, 21-13. 

South Dakota had its backs to the wall as the second-ranked team in the country was making a comeback. Yet, the Coyote offense responded with a 12-play, field-goal-scoring drive that took 8:14 off the clock. South Dakota pushed its lead back to two possessions, 24-13. That would be all the Coyotes needed, as not even a late Bison touchdown and failed onside kick attempt could prevent South Dakota's upset.

MORE FCS: How Week 4's wild weekend will impact these conferences' postseason hopes

The road victory is the first win for South Dakota over North Dakota since 2015, one year before the start of head coach Bob Nielson's tenure. The Coyotes are now undefeated against FCS competition through four games, picking up a win that will resonate with the FCS playoff committee all the way in November.

“It’s like a fairy tale:” Inside South Dakota State’s rapidly improving wrestling program

Tanner Sloan and the Jackrabbits enter the second half of the 2023-2024 season with big goals. Here's a look back at how the program has developed title contenders over the last six years under head coach Damion Hahn.

South Dakota State, Montana State lead FCS football committee's top 10

The FCS football playoff committee revealed its top 10 teams less than a month before selections.

Predicting the FCS Award winners entering the season's final stretch

NCAA Digital's Stan Becton predicts the winners for FCS football's Walter Payton Award, Buck Buchanan Award and Jerry Rice Award entering the final weeks of the 2023 season.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners