Brady Gustafson threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, as the North Dakota State Bison dominated the Montana Grizzlies Saturday, 37-6, in the Round of 16 in the FCS Playoffs.
NDSU ran for 250 yards and didn't turn the ball over behind freshman quarterback Easton Stick, who improved his record to 6-0 in place of injured senior QB Carson Wentz. The Bison ran the ball 55 times, dominating time of possession, 40:36 to just 19:24 for the Griz.
Stick opened the scoring on NDSU's opening drive, keeping the ball on a read option run and going 49 yards to the endzone for a touchdown to make it 7-0.
That score held into the second quarter, when Gustafson was intercepted by Jalen Allison who returned it 30 yards for a TD and a 14-0 Bison lead. Bruce Anderson made it 21-0 late in the half with a 15-yard touchdown run.
It was 24-0 before Montana got on the board in the third quarter.
Gustafson hit Jamaal Jones from 20 yards out to pull the Griz within 24-6 after a failed two-point conversion. Jones finished with 6 catches for 90 yards in the game, coming up 7 yards short of Marc Mariani's record for most receiving yards in school history.
Hope didn't last long for UM, as Anderson returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to put NDSU up 31-6. Gustafson's second Pick-Six early in the fourth quarter sealed Montana's fate. C.J. Smith returned it 32 yards for a 37-6 lead, which turned out to be the final.
Overall, Gustafson finished 24-48 for 229 yards, one TD, and the four INT's. As a team, Montana rushed for just six yards on 19 carries. John Nguyen, who came into the game with three straight 100+ yard performances, was held to 19 yards on 11 carries.
King Frazier led the Bison with 87 rushing yards on 20 carries. Seven different players got at least one carry in the balanced attack.
North Dakota State advances to their sixth straight FCS quarterfinal. They'll find out Sunday who they will play next weekend, with the game likely to be in Fargo.