Gophers stunned by NDSU

Minnesota was outplayed by the underdog Bison of the Football Championship Subdivision, 37-24.

North Dakota State wide receiver Ryan Smith blows past Minnesota defensive back Brock Vereen Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Mark Vancleave

North Dakota State wide receiver Ryan Smith blows past Minnesota defensive back Brock Vereen Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Samuel Gordon

The Gophers football team was stunned as they were beaten Football Championship Subdivision opponent for the second straight year.

 North Dakota State fans made their Bison feel right at home as NDSU upset Minnesota, 37-24.

 TCF Bank Stadium could have been mistaken for Lambeau Field on Saturday night if it wasnâÄôt for the maroon and gold seats and the Gophers logos on the playing surface.

 Bison quarterback Brock Jensen was efficient in throwing for 197 yards and added another and a score 37 on the ground. FCS Preseason All-American DJ McNorton ran for 92 yards and a touchdown.

 Minnesota shuffled between quarterbacks MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell throughout the night. Shortell often entered the game in critical passing situations, as Gray struggled most of the night to hit open receivers.

 Gray completed just five of his 12 attempts for 53 yards. The Bison contained him as a runner, too. He carried the ball 13 times for just 23 yards.

 Shortell directed three of the GophersâÄô scoring drives, and took the bulk of the snaps in the fourth quarter when Minnesota was attempting a comeback.

 He brought the Gophers within a touchdown when he hooked up with Eric Lair on a 20-yard touchdown strike on a fourth down with 9:05 left in the game.

 On the ensuing drive, Jensen converted multiple third-downs and the Bison ran over six minutes off the clock, but kicker Ryan Jastram missed a 35-yard field goal that would have potentially iced the game.

 With 2:58 remaining and facing a 31-24 deficit, Shortell and the GophersâÄô offense took the field.

 However, the comeback fell short when Bison cornerback and Minneapolis native Marcus Williams intercepted and returned the freshmanâÄôs second-down pass for a touchdown.

 âÄúSince I came to NDSU, IâÄôve had my eye on this gameâĦIâÄôm like, âÄòIf I get a chance to, IâÄôm going to make a big play,âÄôâÄù he said.

 âÄúCoach always told me, âÄòBig time players make big time plays in big time games,âÄô so thatâÄôs what I did.âÄù