NDSU Fights for Playoff Berth in Homestretch, Must Win Next Two Games


Updated: 12:48 AM, Mon November 06, 2023

North Dakota State University (NDSU) is currently fighting for a playoff berth in the final stretch of the season. With just two games remaining, the Bison must win both in order to secure a spot in the postseason. Their first challenge is against Southern Illinois at home this Saturday, followed by a crucial away game against Northern Iowa.

A victory in both games will guarantee NDSU’s inclusion in the 24-team field with an 8-3 record. A split result, with one win and one loss, would still give them a good chance at 7-4. However, nothing is certain, as demonstrated by Youngstown State’s exclusion from the playoffs last year despite finishing with a 7-4 record. The Bison cannot afford to lose both games, as it would most likely end their season.

After suffering a 33-16 defeat to South Dakota State, NDSU’s head coach, Matt Entz, along with senior receiver Zach Mathis, emphasized the importance of quickly bouncing back from the loss. They urged their team to approach each game as if it could be their last and to rally together to create an inspiring story.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference, to which NDSU belongs, currently has seven teams trending towards playoff berths. South Dakota State is a lock for the postseason with a perfect 9-0 record, while South Dakota is in a strong position at 7-2. The remaining five teams, including NDSU, Youngstown State, North Dakota, Southern Illinois, and Northern Iowa, are all at 6-3. However, it is unlikely that the playoff committee will select more than five teams from the conference, meaning some will likely be left out.

While NDSU’s immediate focus is on their next two games, they are also keeping an eye on teams from other conferences. Montana, Montana State, Idaho, and Sacramento State are trending towards playoff berths in the Big Sky Conference, and there are also four teams with records of 6-3 or better in the Coastal Athletic Association and Southern Conference.

If NDSU manages to win both of their remaining games, they might even find themselves in the discussion for a top eight seed, depending on how other teams perform. The team remains focused on taking things one game at a time and ensuring they are fully prepared for each challenge.

It is worth noting that certain conferences will only secure an automatic berth bid, including the Big South/Ohio Valley, Patriot, Northeast, United Athletic, and Pioneer leagues. The Southland Conference could potentially secure two berths if Nicholls State, with a 4-4 record, wins the league ahead of Incarnate Word, who currently holds a 7-2 record.

In conclusion, NDSU finds itself in a crucial position as they fight for a playoff berth. Their destiny is in their hands, and they must win their next two games to secure their place in the postseason. However, the competition is tough, and they cannot afford to underestimate any opponent. The team remains focused, motivated, and determined to come together as a unit to achieve their playoff aspirations.

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Ishan Joshi
Ishan Joshi
Ishan Joshi is an enthusiastic sports writer at The Reportify who keeps you informed about the thrilling world of sports. From match highlights to athlete profiles, Ishan brings you the latest updates and engaging stories from the Sports category. He can be reached at ishan@thereportify.com for any inquiries or further information.

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