Friday marks the fourth time rivals North Dakota State and South Dakota State face off in the FCS playoffs since 2012. The Bison are 3-0 in postseason play versus the Jackrabbits, with each game having higher stakes.
This week is no different.
The Jacks have closed the gap more and more on NDSU in recent years, defeating the Bison in the 2016 and 2017 regular seasons. NDSU narrowly beat SDSU 21-17 earlier this year in the Fargodome.
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SDSU held a No. 2 national rankings for part of this season while the Bison have held firm at No. 1. Despite getting the No. 5 seed, fans and media have said the Jacks are the second best team in the country and the biggest challenger to dethrone NDSU.
The past playoff matchups have been a mixed bag of blowouts and SDSU nearly knocking off the Bison.
Take a look back at the three games between these two Missouri Valley Football Conference foes.
2012 Second round
NDSU 28, SDSU 3
NDSU edged SDSU 20-17 just a few weeks before this game. But an expected close battle turned into a decisive Bison win.
NDSU responded to a 3-0 first-quarter deficit with three second-quarter touchdowns to take control of the game. Garrett Bruhn caught two touchdown passes from Brock Jensen
2014 Second Round
NDSU 27, SDSU 24
One of the all-time great Fargodome playoff games. Four players who now have legendary names in their respective programs came up big in the final minutes.
A redshirt freshman named Jake Wieneke caught a 3-yard pass to give SDSU a 24-20 lead with 3:18 to play. Then Carson Wentz went to work. It took the Bison eight plays to go 76 yards as Wentz hit true freshman RJ Urzendowski in the corner of the end zone with 54 seconds remaining.
Redshirt freshman Tre Dempsey then intercepted a pass on SDSU's next play from scrimmage to seal the game.
NDSU 36, SDSU 10
SDSU snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Bison earlier in the season at the Fargodome, 19-17. And when the Jacks jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead, it appeared this would be the year they finally get over the NDSU hump.
But the Bison responded with 36 straight points. The tide began to turn NDSU's way when it went on a 20-play, 82-yard drive that took up 12:09 in the second quarter and gave the Bison the 14-10 lead. It was all NDSU domination from there.
The Bison out-rushed SDSU 302 yards to 37 and held onto the ball twice as long with a 40:55-19:05 time of possession advantage.
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