The attendance for today’s game was 20,586. The NCAA FCS standard in 1995 occurred when 32,106 fans watched Montana defeat Marshall in Huntington, W. Va.
The 2011 NCAA Division I Football Championship set a tournament record for fan attendance with 256,384 (235,798 prior to title game) in 2011. The previous attendance mark was 209,761 in 1994.
NDSU became the 21st different team to win a NCAA Division I National Championship since subdivision play began in 1978. These teams represent seven different conferences – Big Sky, Colonial Athletic, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, and Division I independents. The Bison are the second MVC team to take all the marbles after Southern Illinois in 1983.
NDSU now leads the three-game series between the teams 2-1 since they first met in 2007.
This is NDSU’s ninth football national championship either in NCAA Division II or Small College Division (wire service polls). It also is the Bison’s 21st overall NCAA team title and first in DI after capturing Division II championships in football (eight), women’s basketball (five) and wrestling (four), and one each in men's cross country, softball and women's indoor track and field. Sam Houston State’s first national crown was a shared NAIA football championship with Concordia, Minn., in 1964.
LB Chris Beck of NDSU was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 championship after returning an interception 63 yards to set up the icing touchdown, making seven total tackles (four unassisted) and 1.5 tackles for losses.
Punters Matt Voigtlander of NDSU and SHSU’s Matt Foster combined for 17 punts and a 45.9 average as unyielding defenses limited the offenses to 5-of-31 composite third down conversions (16 percent).
North Dakota State Notes…
Bison head coach Craig Bohl now stands 75-31 after his ninth season as a college head coach – all at NDSU. He has been an assistant or head coach in the college ranks for 28 seasons and returns to Texas where he was defensive coordinator at Rice from 1989-93. He is 5-1 as head coach for both seasons of the Bison’s FCS postseason showings.
NDSU faced No. 1 for second straight season in NCAA FCS playoffs. The Bison lost to Eastern Washington 38-31 in overtime in 2010 quarterfinals. NDSU also is 15-8 vs. nationally-ranked teams since 2006, including 8-0 this season
The Bison are 5-1 in NCAA Division I football playoff history and completed their second year of FCS appearances this season.
North Dakota State runs to 627-364-34 (.629 winning percentage) over 115 seasons and 1,025 games.
NDSU has allowed just 23 points in the first quarter of 15 games and 34 third period markers over 15 contests after holding the Bearkats scoreless in both quarters today. The Bison have scored 470 points while surrendering 191 in 15 encounters.
North Dakota State did not have a takeaway in the 2011 opener against Lafayette and then has had one in each of the last 14 contests. The Bison raised their interceptions’ total to 20 for the campaign.
NDSU running backs Sam Ojuri (1,105 yards on 187 carries with 11 TDs and DJ McNorton (1,020 yards on 197 carries and 13 scores) become the first pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same Bison backfield. McNorton is the sixth in Bison career history with 574 career carries for 2,973 yards and fell just 27 yards short of becoming the sixth running back in NDSU annals to reach 3,000 yards.
Brock Jensen has added to his school the single-season passing yards record with 219-of-326 for 2,524 yards with 13 TDs and four interceptions. The previous mark was 2,327 yards set in 2007 by Steve Walker. Jensen also closed in on the school single-season records for completions (220, Tony Stauss, 2003) but missed by one connection.
Matt Voigtlander had a season-best 66-yard punt (previous was 62 yards) in the first quarter.
Ryan Jastram tied the Bison’s season record in the first quarter with his 16th field goal of the season. That knotted him with Shawn Bibeaux in 2006.
Warren Holloway became the second NDSU receiver to reach the 1,000-yard season receiving mark and added to his season receptions mark with two today for a total of 77. The other two individual marks in both categories were by T.R. McDonald, who caught 69 passes for 1,181 yards (still standing record) in 1993. Holloway stayed in fourth place in both school career catches with 161 and in career receiving yards with 2,234 yards.
LB Chad Wilson had his fourth double-figure tackling performance of the year and the sixth in his career. His career high is 12 prior to the title game, and he had 11 today. Preston Evans has been in double figures for total stops twice this season and five career and had nine tackles today.
LB Travis Beck had his first career pass interception and returned it 63 yards (missing a TD by one yard) for the second-longest interception return of the year for the Bison. The longest was 82 yards by Bobby Ollman vs. Illinois State in Game 4.
Sam Houston State Notes...
Bearkats coach Willie Fritz is now 117-53 after his 15th season as a college head coach at Central Missouri (1997-2009, 97-47 with a NCAA Division II playoff appearance in 2002 at CMU and 20-6 in two seasons at SHSU. Fritz has guided the Bearkats to four of their seven all-time NCAA Division I playoff triumphs.
SHSU established a season record for victories at 14-1. The previous mark was 11-3 in 2004.
The Bearkats continued their best two-year record in school history with 20 wins in 26 contests since Aug. 2010.
SHSU is 7-5 in 12 all-time FCS postseason contests and has 25 all-time wins over Top 25 FCS opponents at kickoff.
Sam Houston State is now 463-443-34 for a .511 winning percentage over 940 games and 96 seasons.
The Bearkats had their previous-FCS-active-longest winning streak ended at 16 games dating back to the final two contests of 2010.
SHSU closes 2011 with a 5-1 record against nationally ranked FCS teams.
Sam Houston State ends the campaign with a school-record 42 turnovers gained – two today on a fumble and pass interception.
The Bearkats are in 16th place in season FCS team scoring in a season since 1978 with 548 points.
Sam Houston State RB Tim Flanders established a Southland Conference record with 1,684 yards rushing to break Claude Mathis’ seasonal mark of 1,593 yards at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State). Flanders also missed his 15th 100-yard rushing game in 25 contests since 2010 by just 16 net yards. The 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year and All-America selection scored 24 TDs this year (22 rushing, two receiving) for a school season mark. He was coming off a school-record 287 yards rushing in Sam’s NCAA semifinal win over Montana in Huntsville. Flanders has led the SLC in rushing both as a freshman (948 net yards) and in 2011 and already holds 12 game, season and career individual records.
SHSU outscored its opponents 180-37 in 15 contests after the Bison tallied seven points in this afternoon’s third stanza.
NDSU limited the Bearkats to six points in the first half to top the fewest previously of eight by Sam against UTSA earlier this year.
Sam Houston State’s fewest total offense yards in a game was 313 yards in the opener against Western Illinois. The Bearkats ended the tussle with 210 total offense yards today and a longest play from scrimmage of 36 yards on a Brian Bell to Richard Sincere pass and catch.
From Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association:
Previous National Championships by schools from two current conferences of participating teams on 2012 Game
1970 Arkansas State College Division Southland
1973 Louisiana Tech NCAA II Southland
1974 Louisiana Tech College Division Southland
1987 Northeast Louisiana (now UL Monroe) NCAA 1-AA Southland
1989 Stephen F. Austin vacated 2nd place Southland
1983 Southern Illinois NCAA 1-AA Missouri Valley
Both Teams in FCS for first time - Teams winning the National Championship In first title game
1978 Florida A&M 35 Massachusetts 28
1979 Eastern Kentucky 30 Lehigh 7
1980 Boise State 31 Eastern Kentucky 29
1981 Idaho State 34 Eastern Kentucky 23
1983 Southern Illinois 43 Western Carolina 7
1984 Montana State 19 Louisiana Tech 6
1985 Georgia Southern 44 Furman 42
1987 Louisiana-Monroe 43 Marshall 42
1991 Youngstown State 25 Marshall 17
1995 Montana 22 Marshall 20
1998 Massachusetts 55 Georgia Southern 43
2002 Western Kentucky 34 McNeese State 14
2004 James Madison 31 Montana 21
2005 Appalachian State 21 Northern Iowa 16
2008 Richmond 24 Montana 7
2009 Villanova 23 Montana 21
2010 Eastern Washington 20 Delaware 19
2011 North Dakota State 17 Sam Houston State 6
Pre-Bowl Rankings - Sam Houston State No. 1
Other final Regular Season No. 1s won title
1982 Eastern Kentucky
1989 Georgia Southern
1994 Youngstown State
2006 Appalachian State
2010 Eastern Washington
North Dakota State No. 4/5
Other final Regular Season Nos. 4/5 to win National Championships
1986 Georgia Southern 4
2000 Georgia Southern 5
2005 Appalachian State 5
FCS Top 20 Scoring Seasons (Since 1978)
747 Georgia Southern, 1999
656 Marshall, 1996
654 Georgia Southern, 1998
652 Montana, 1995
640 Appalachian State, 2007
638 Montana, 1996
628 Mississippi Valley State, 1984
619 Georgia Southern, 1986
604 Marshall, 1992
593 Idaho, 1993
586 Florida A&M, 1998
584 Georgia Southern, 1989
583 Florida A&M, 1999
570 Delaware, 2000
564 Georgia Southern, 2004
560 Marshall, 1994
548 Sam Houston State, 2011
546 Nevada, 1991
546 New Hampshire, 2005
543 Delaware, 2007
Previous National Championships in Other Divisions/NAIA
1983 North Dakota State NCAA II
1985 North Dakota State NCAA II
1986 North Dakota State NCAA II
1988 North Dakota State NCAA II
1990 North Dakota State NCAA II
1965 North Dakota State College Division
1968 North Dakota State College Division
1969 North Dakota State College Division
1964 Sam Houston State NAIA (tied with Concordia, Minn.)