GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP)Tommy Schuster threw two first-quarter touchdown passes and North Dakota never trailed in its 44-10 win over Missouri State in the opening round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday.
The Fighting Hawks won their first playoff game since moving to the FCS in 2008. North Dakota (5-1) will play at third-seeded and No. 1 James Madison in the quarterfinals.
Missouri State (5-5) went three-and-out on its first two possessions and Schuster hit Garrett Maag for a 50-yard touchdown before connecting with Bo Belquist for a 38-yard score on a flea flicker to make it 14-0 with 8 minutes left in the first quarter and the Fighting Hawks led the rest of the way.
Hayden Reynolds returned a blocked punt 15 yards for a touchdown and fewer than 3 minutes later Hayden Galvin picked off a pass at the UND 10, linebacker Devon Krzanowski threw a block – the first of a few by the Hawks – and Galvin weaved and winded his way 90 yards for a score to make it 38-3 with 6:31 left in the third quarter.
Missouri State, under first-year coach Bobby Petrino, went 5-1 in conference play to earn a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title after the Bears won just one game in 2019.
UND had eight sacks, a D-I program record, and forced Missouri State into eight three-and-outs. The Bears had minus-21 yards rushing and just 50 total yards in the first half.
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