MISSOULA — Two FCS powerhouses are set to put it on the line for a shot at the national championship game.
No. 2-seeded Montana (12-1) and North Dakota State (11-3) are set to clash in Missoula next Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in the FCS semifinals. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on national TV on ESPN2.
It's a matchup of familiar foes and teams that have been staples at this level of football. Montana defeated Furman in a 35-28 overtime thriller on Friday night in Missoula to advance to its first semifinal game since 2011.
The Bison — the most dominant program in the country over the last decade-plus — continued to show that they might be the hottest team in the country right now. They have turned things around after an up-and-down regular season and on Saturday blew out No. 3 South Dakota 45-17 in the quarterfinals for their second straight road victory over a seeded team in the playoffs. NDSU topped No. 6 Montana State 35-34 last week in overtime.
This will be the fourth time UM and NDSU have met since 2015 and 10th time overall between the two programs. NDSU holds a 5-4 record against Montana and the Bison are 2-0 against the Grizzlies in the playoffs including last year.
Last season, NDSU topped Montana 49-26 in the second round of the playoffs in Fargo, North Daktota. NDSU also beat Montana in the 2015 playoffs, 37-6. However, this will be the first time the two programs have met in Missoula for a playoff game.
The last time the two programs clashed in Missoula was in 2015 when the Grizzlies beat the Bison 38-35 in a thriller.