Even still, James Madison (14-1) had a chance to win at the end. I'm so proud of the guys.
It's not quite as cold as it was a year ago in Texas, as the temperatures were in the high 40's on Thursday, and it's expected to be in the mid-50's on Saturday for the FCS national championship game. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don't have cable or can't get to a TV, you can watch the game online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. NDSU head coach Chris Klieman announced the surprising move just hours before game time. That difference could likely be Bison quarterback Easton Stick who's a unsafe runner.
"Hey, take it all in, because this could be taken away in an instant", said Tanguay, who suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the 2016 campaign.
Shepherd finished with 74 yards on six catches to lead the Bison in receiving. JMU's defense matched NDSU with a three-and-out of their own, including a six-yard sack by redshirt junior defensive lineman Darrious Carter.
"If you take the busiest day we've ever had, it doesn't compare to when the Bison are here", Verich said.
Klieman says, "They got different players, just like we got different players". For the second time in the half, a JMU miscue directly propagated a touchdown for the Bison.
James Madison, with all of the momentum on its side, advanced the ball to the 19-yard line with 1:53 left, but its only positive gain on the ensuing four plays earned one yard.
James Madison comes up short in quest for back-to-back FCS Championships, falling to NDSU 17-13
JMU senior defensive end Andrew Ankrah says, "If you give him time in the pocket to throw dropback passes, he'll make you play".
NDSU 17 JMU 13 - Marcus Marshall rushes for a 1-yard touchdown with 9:26 left in the third quarter. The Dukes' Simeyon Robinson blocked Cam Pedersen's 38-yard field goal attempt and they got the ball at the 27 with 4:37 remaining. "We made a couple of mistakes we don't typically make", he said. "Obviously they have the respect of the entire country, but I can promise you our kids are confident and motivated and are going to be ready to play tomorrow".
"The demeanor of the team is the same as previous year", redshirt senior offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie said. "I just felt like this team had what it took to beat that North Dakota State team, and we were confident coming out of that half". He said the difference in his sales from 2017 to 2016 was "the Bison week", or lack thereof. For Shepherd, it was his first touchdown catch this season and also the biggest offensive play in a game dominated by defense.
Put it all together and you have an anticipated rematch between two dominant powerhouses who both player similar styles of smash-mouth football.
With the game in the final minutes, JMU ran a fake punt with Harry O'Kelly to continue the drive.
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