McALLEN, Texas--North Dakota State's defense played a flawless game and the offense found enough power against one of the top defenses in the nation to guide the Bison to a 35-7 victory over North Alabama and the 1985 national championship.
The Bison scored on two of their first three possessions and then turned three Lion miscues into two touchdowns in the third period as the game broke open.
Bison kick return specialist Tyrone Braxton set the tone for the day as he took the opening kickoff back 73 yards to the North Alabama 27-yard line. Six plays later, on his first carry, quarterback Jeff Bentrim scored from four yards out.
The Bison upped the lead to 14-0 late in the quarter on a 3-yard run by James Molstre as the Bison mounted an 80-yard, nine-play drive.
Charlie Stock's fumble recovery at the UNA 26 on the opening possession of the second half set in motion a turn of events that resulted in three straight Bison TDs.
Fullback Chad Stark scored after the recovery, Bentrim crossed the line after Stock picked off a pass four minutes later, and just another 60 seconds later, Paul Nielsen's fumble recovery at the UNA 13 led to a 13-yard TD pass from Bentrim to Len Kretchman.
First Downs 13 14
Yds. Rushing 179 255
Yds. Passing 83 79
Total Offense 262 334
Passes 7-18-3 4-5-0
Punts 8-36.0 5-35.0
Penalties 3-27 6-36
Fumbles/Lost 5-3 6-3
North Dakota State 35, North Alabama 7
North Alabama 0 0 0 7 -- 7
NDSU 14 0 21 0 -- 35
NDSU--Bentrim 4 run (Kubisz kick)
NDSU--Molstre 3 run (Kubisz kick)
NDSU--Stark 18 run (Kubisz kick)
NDSU--Bentrim 1 run (Kubisz kick)
NDSU--Kretchman 10 pass from Bentrim (Kubisz kick)
UNA--Johnson 1 run (Knowles kick)
Rushing--Stark (NDSU) 18-113; Johnson (UNA) 29-111; Bentrim (NDSU) 16-43; Molstre (NDSU) 12-40
Passing--Bentrim (NDSU) 4-5-0, 79 yds.; Garner (UNA) 1-4-1, 35 yds.; Metcalf (UNA) 4-12-2, 24 yds.; Elliott (UNA) 2-2-0, 24 yds.
Receiving--Kretchman (NDSU) 3-58; Banks (UNA) 1-35; Yeager (UNA) 2-24; Stark (NDSU) 1-24