After holding off a late rally by Illinois State, North Dakota State won its fourth straight FCS championship Saturday -- becoming the first team in Division I history to do so with a 29-27 win at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
With North Dakota State trailing 27-23 after two unanswered Illinois State touchdowns, Bison quarterback Carson Wentz scored on a 5-yard run. The extra-point attempt was blocked, but the Redbirds were unable to score with 37 seconds remaining.
North Dakota State is also the first NCAA team to win four straight championships since Division III Augustana College in 1983-86.
The Bison amassed 451 total yards -- nearly 50/50 between passing (237) and rushing (214). Wentz went 15-of-22 for 237 yards and a touchdown, in addition to 87 rushing yards and another score on 16 attempts. Running back John Crockett rushed 22 times for 74 yards and a touchdown.
In the first season without head coach Craig Bohl -- who left for Wyoming after last season following 10 years -- the Bison went 15-1, losing only to Northern Iowa in November. New head coach Chris Klieman was promoted from defensive coordinator after Bohl left.
- Mike Fiammetta