Dec 14, 2013; Hammond, LA, USA; New Hampshire Wildcats head coach Sean McDonnell watches during warmups prior to kickoff against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions at Strawberry Stadium. New Hampshire defeated Southeastern Louisiana 20-17. (Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports)
Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Bison are fast and furious
THEY start fast. They finish fast. They aren't bad at all in the middle of the game either.
The North Dakota State University Bison, to be sure, are going to be a handful for the University of New Hampshire football team in an FCS semifinal match at 8 p.m. on Friday (ESPN2) in front of 18,000-plus fans in the Fargodome.
The Bison have dominated the FCS the last two years.
"They're a team, if they get ahead of you, it's pretty much over," said UNH senior safety and captain Manny Asam. "They consume time (on offense). They eat up time."
Most of the Wildcats, head coach Sean McDonnell included, watched North Dakota State clobber Coastal Carolina, 48-14, in the quarterfinals last Saturday afternoon on ESPN while they rested up for their own game that night against Southeastern Louisiana.
"It was a fast start and it wasn't just the offense," McDonnell said. "It was defense and special teams, too. That was something to behold. I was sitting in the hotel room and it was like, 'Oh my.' Everyone on the team plays downhill. It was pretty impressive."
The Bison have outscored their opponents 131-20 in the first quarter of games and 153-71 in the second for a halftime edge of 284-91. The margin is 121-51 in the third period and a difficult-to-imagine 89-6 in the fourth.
"We have to put up points fast," said UNH sophomore quarterback Sean Goldrich. "We have to come out of the gate flying around and make a statement to let them know we're not going to be a run-over team ... We have to come out right from the beginning and show them that we're here to play and we're not going anywhere."
The Bison came from behind and Jensen led a late touchdown drive for a big FBS win at Kansas State, 24-21, in their season opener and rallied to beat then No. 4-ranked Northern Iowa, 24-23, on Oct. 5. Kansas State wound up 7-5 and will play Michigan on Dec. 28 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.
THE WILDCATS are one of two Colonial Athletic Association teams left in the tournament. Towson is on the other side of the bracket and pays at Eastern Washington on Saturday at 2 p.m. The two semifinal winners play for the national championship on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. in Frisco, Texas ...