Football Falls to North Dakota State 35-0 in FCS Quarterfinals

The Colgate football team’s incredible 2018 season unfortunately closed this week as the team fell to the North Dakota State Bisons 35-0 on Saturday, December 9 in the NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) quarterfinals, ending their season at 10-2.

North Dakota’s offense was strong the entire game, scoring in every quarter. However, Colgate stayed tight with the Bison in the beginning of the game. They were down 0-7 midway through the second quarter. Sophomore quarterback Grant Breneman’s pass was incomplete to junior tight end Nick Diaco as the Raiders attempted to convert on 4th-and-2. Just before the half ended, North Dakota State scored to gain a 14-0 lead on the Raiders as they headed into halftime.

“All three levels of their defense were really solid. They really flew to the ball. We saw that on film but they did a good job of keeping us off schedule. They let the D-ends go and that was something we had trouble with all day,” Brenemen said. “They’re the best team in the country right now and they’re better than anybody we’ve played. It just comes down to not doing enough executing on first and second down to get us in good spots, and when we had the opportunities, we didn’t hit them. You can’t give up opportunities to a team like this because they just don’t come around very often.”

Just as the third quarter began, the Bison scored to go ahead 21-0. Colgate persisted throughout the game, but they were not able to convert their offensive power into points.

“They are different than anyone we’ve played, with the possible exception of Army. That’s just a fact. That’s not a Patriot League team we’re playing. We knew that and we respected that,” Head Coach Dan Hunt said. “That last three games we’ve played have been measuring sticks for where we think we can get to. The Army game, we had to one possession in the fourth quarter (without the starting quarterback); we beat James Madison; and then today was a different animal, particularly defensively.”

Despite this loss, the Raiders have much to be proud of. They were selected to win the Patriot League and they did just that. Beyond this incredible accomplishment, they also tallied a range of other success throughout the season, including tying the FCS record and earning five shutouts over a six-game stretch. The team reached No. 6 in the FCS coaches poll and through week 12 of the season were one of just three undefeated teams in the country. These accomplishments helped the Raiders secure a No. 8 overall seed in the playoffs, their second time in four years to reach the NCAA quarterfinals.

Players on the team also achieved a number of individual achievements. Junior linemen Nick Wheeler was named to the national All-American Second Team while senior running back James Holland and junior defensive back Abu Daramy-Swaray both picked up Third Team honors.

Colgate ended the season with its fourth 10-win campaign in 128 seasons of football. Colgate has also announced that Coach Hunt has signed a contract extension ensuring his stay in Hamilton for another five years. The contract is for an undisclosed amount but makes sure that Hunt, who was being whispered about for higher profile coaching jobs, remains the coach for the Raiders.

Contact Kate Kelly at [email protected].