Photo special to Bison Illustrated
Welcome to the countdown to Frisco! Starting Christmas Day with a “The Twelve Days of Christmas” theme, we’ll feature a Bison football player per day who had a memorable FCS Championship game. Join us as we countdown these remarkable memories and get ready for the big game Jan. 6!
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Offensive Line – Frisco V
Leading up to the game against Jacksonville State, it was hyped to be NDSU’s biggest challenge in the trenches out of all the trips to Frisco. After all, the Gamecocks starting defensive line was made up of SEC transfers. But the opening drive of the game showed just how dominant the Rams are for the Bison and what was to come in the game.
With Carson Wentz returning from injury, NDSU went to the ground game to settle him in. Six straight rushes to open the game gained 35 yards as the Bison got a push early. They settled for a field goal, but the tone was set.
The offensive line opened up the running lanes for 182 yards rushing and kept the future No. 2 overall draft pick upright as Wentz threw for another 197 yards. Most impressive, the Bison held the ball for 40:51 of the 60-minute ball game.
The unit, from right to left, of Landon Lechler, Jeremy Kelly, Austin Kuhnert, Zack Johnson and Joe Haeg will go down as one of the best starting o-lines in NDSU history.