Trey Lance put North Dakota State ahead, 7-0, of Montana State in their FCS semifinal with an eight-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. It was the Marshall, Minn., native's 12th rushing touchdown of the season and the Bison's 19th rushing touchdown from a Minnesotan. Lance added his 13th in the fourth quarter as they ran away with an eighth semifinal win in the last nine years.
Thirty-six of the 112 players on North Dakota State's roster hail from Minnesota, more than the combined totals of the next most popular home states among Bison players. And although their title-game counterpart, James Madison, doesn't have a Minnesotan on their roster, the Land of 10,000 Lakes will be the second-most-represented state in Frisco come Jan. 11.
The two teams' combined 216 players come from 23 different states, led by Virginia (58), Minnesota (36), North Dakota (17), Wisconsin (16), Maryland (12), and Florida (12). More than half of the Dukes' roster are in-state players. James Madison punter Harry O'Kelly, from the small town of Wynnum in Queensland, Australia, will be the only foreign player on title-game rosters. And Richmond, Va., is the most-represented city with nine players, followed by Mechanicsville, Va. (six), Fargo, N.D. (five), and Lakeville, Minn., (four).
Interactive map for all hometowns (tweet at me for additional hometown numbers):