The North Dakota State band plays outside the Fargodome in their only game of the fall season with only parents in attendance against Central Arkansas at an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State won 39-28. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
- North Dakota (4-0) faces North Dakota State (4-1) this Saturday on ESPN+ at 2:30 PM Eastern
- The Fighting Hawks are undefeated and have won each of their four games by double digits
- See the game odds and a look at both programs heading into the match up below
North Dakota and North Dakota State may not play for the Nickel Trophy anymore, but this should still be one hell of a football game.
This is the 113th meeting between the two in a series that dates back to 1894. Trophy or no trophy, this will be a hotly contested rivalry game that you can see on ESPN+ at 2:30pm EST on Saturday afternoon.
North Dakota vs North Dakota State Odds
|North Dakota||+3.5 (-110)||+148||O 36.5 (-107)|
|North Dakota State||-3.5 (-110)||-180||U 36.5 (-114)|
Odds taken March 18th from DraftKings
NDSU Has Had Recent Success Against UND
While the Fighting Hawks own the edge all-time, the Bison have had the most recent success. The two teams have played twice as Division I non-conference opponents, with North Dakota State winning both games by a combined 56 points. The Bison come into this game having won 31 straight at home and are listed as the slight favorites.
One game at a time. #OnAMission #GoBison pic.twitter.com/VD91zPVjah
— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) March 16, 2021
The oddsmakers had a difficult time with this game, because it still isn’t known who will start at quarterback for NDSU.
Freshman Cam Miller looked capable last week replacing starter Zeb Noland in the Bison win over Illinois State.
Head coach Matt Entz did make it clear he plans on choosing one or the other going forward saying “Generally, you’re not really excited as a football coach trying to play two quarterbacks”.
Miller looked more confident but is less experienced. Noland has the reps but doesn’t appear to have the skill of previous NDSU pivots Trey Lance and Carson Wentz. Neither option comes with much confidence at this point.
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UND Expecting Tougher Test on Saturday
The Fighting Hawks enter the game with a perfect 4-0 record. They haven’t faced much adversity on route to that record, winning their games by 23, 11, 11 and 17 points, respectively. This will obviously be their toughest test to date, but it appears they are ready.
The first @WeAreAFCA Coaches Poll of the season is out and we are holding steady at No. 2! #UNDproud | #LGH https://t.co/PnycsYP718
— North Dakota Football (@UNDfootball) March 16, 2021
Quarterback Tommy Schuster is playing very consistent football for UND. He has 849 passing yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions this year. While NDSU is struggling to find answers at the quarterback position, UND has that covered.
Schuster has also been able to rely on elite performance after elite performance from running back Otis Weah. The 5-foot-9, 215 pound back has racked up 441 rushing yards and six touchdowns already this season. The dynamic duo could be part of pulling off a rare feat – handing the Bison a 2nd loss in a season.
Trust the Fighting Hawks to Cover the Spread
The total for this game looks like it belongs to a different sport at only 36.5. The odds makers are expecting a low scoring affair and you should too. A rivalry game short on points? Take the 3.5 points and run. The smart money is on North Dakota to keep this one close and possibly even pull off the upset.
- The Pick: North Dakota +3.5 (-110)
Ryan has been working at TSN for over eleven years, and is now a lead writer and content producer at That’s Hockey. Over the years, he’s launched and hosted TSN’s first NCAAF podcast, The College Football Show, and been featured on the likes of TSN 1050, Sportscentre, and That’s Hockey 2Nite.