Montana State

Tradition of the Montana State program readily apparent to new Bobcat DC

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BOZEMAN, Montana — Freddie Banks was a senior on the first North Dakota State team to earn a bid to the FCS Playoffs.

That Bison squad came to Bozeman to face a Montana State team that had just won a Big Sky Conference championship by beating Montana in Missoula, in turn denying the Grizzlies a playoff berth for the first time in 17 years.

NDSU dominated the fourth quarter that December afternoon in 2010, scoring 28 unanswered points to down MSU 42-17 in the second round at Bobcat Stadium.

The following week, Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell hit Tyler Hart for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime to oust the Bison.

North Dakota State lost just two games over the next three years, tearing their way to three consecutive FCS national titles before Craig Bohl and his staff moved on to Wyoming. That staff included Brent Vigen, a former NDSU tight end who has spent the last 12 seasons as Bohl’s offensive coordinator at his alma mater, then with the Cowboys before taking the Montana State head coaching job nine months ago.

Although Banks was part of a group that laid the foundation for what became a peerless run of Bison success — the Bison ripped off eight national titles over the next nine seasons, losing just eight games along the way — he is not quick to take any credit for NDSU’s long, prestigious history.

BOZEMAN, Montana — Freddie Banks was a senior on the first
North Dakota State team to earn a bid to the FCS Playoffs.

That Bison squad came to Bozeman to face a Montana State
team that had just won a Big Sky Conference championship by beating Montana in
Missoula, in turn denying the Grizzlies a playoff berth for the first time in
17 years.

NDSU dominated the fourth quarter that December afternoon in
2010, scoring 28 unanswered points to down MSU 42-17 in the second round at
Bobcat Stadium.

The following week, Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi
Mitchell hit Tyler Hart for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime to oust the Bison.

North Dakota State lost just two games over the next three years, tearing their way to three consecutive FCS national titles before Craig Bohl and his staff moved on to Wyoming. That staff included Brent Vigen, a former NDSU tight end who has spent the last 12 seasons as Bohl's offensive coordinator at his alma mater, then with the Cowboys before taking the Montana State head coaching job nine months ago.

Although Banks was part of a group that laid the foundation for what became a peerless run of Bison success — the Bison ripped off eight national titles over the next nine seasons, losing just eight games along the way — he is not quick to take any credit for NDSU's long, prestigious history.

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About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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