Bison, Eagles announce 2-game FCS contract
FARGO — The upgrade in Division I FCS opponents for North Dakota State continued on Friday when the Bison and Eastern Washington announced a two-game contract for 2016 and 2017.
The two hold the top two preseason spots in the media and coaches polls this month and have combined to win the last four national championships — the last three by NDSU.
Jeremy Jorgenson, NDSU’s director of sales and broadcasting who has been handling the details of football scheduling, said landing the Eagles is part of a philosophical switch on NDSU’s part to schedule home-and-home games with some of the top teams in the FCS.
“It’s great for fans, it’s good competition and it’s good for the FCS,” he said.
The contract has been in the works for approximately the last four months, Jorgenson said, and includes the signatures of former athletic director Gene Taylor and head football coach Chris Klieman. Taylor left last week to become the deputy athletic director at the University of Iowa.
“Everyone is on board with this game,” Jorgenson said.
The Eagles will play at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome on Sept. 10, 2016. NDSU will travel to Roos Field and EWU’s red artificial turf on Sept. 16, 2017. The teams last met in the 2010 quarterfinals in Cheney, Wash., with the Eagles taking a dramatic 38-31 overtime win.
“They’re good every year, and they provide nice competition for us,” Jorgenson said. “And with what happened in 2010, I think there’s a hunger to play them again. They just provide top-level competition.”
Jorgenson said discussions about a game with the University of North Dakota are ongoing.
“The one thing I will say is Eastern Washington did not impact any dates we’ve discussed with UND,” he said. “They are two separate things.”
The 2016 game completes NDSU’s schedule for that season. The Bison host Western Carolina and play at Iowa.
It was the first nonconference game scheduled for 2017.