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September 8, 2012
Rams fall in home opener
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Sam Ojuri scored two touchdowns and Marcus Williams had a big day on defense and special teams as reigning FCS national champion North Dakota State beat Colorado State 22-7 on Saturday night.
It was the second stunner of the day in the Centennial State. Down the road in Boulder, Sacramento State, another FCS-level school, knocked off Colorado 30-28 with a field goal as time expired.
There were no late theatrics necessary for the Bison (2-0), whose defense simply stifled the Rams (1-1) all night.
Ojuri had a 6-yard TD scamper in the first quarter and scored another on a 10-yard screen pass. Williams accumulated 135 yards on five returns and also had an interception.
The two Bison standouts were among the nine NDSU current players charged earlier this week with faking petition signatures in a scandal that blocked two voter initiatives from getting on the November ballot. Other starters accused included offensive lineman Joshua Colville and defensive back Brendin Pierre, who both played Saturday.
NDSU coach Craig Bohl said the players won't be disciplined until the criminal charges were resolved and that the allegations were not considered serious enough to suspend them from the team.
The Bison were able to block out the off-the-field issues and concentrate on football. They dominated time of possession by nearly 20 minutes and outgained the Rams by 123 yards, a figure that was way more lopsided until a last-minute drive by the Rams that was halted when NDSU recovered a fumble.
Brock Jensen was efficient all evening, completing 17 of 28 passes for 178 yards. He also ran for 42 yards as the Bison spoiled the home debut of CSU coach Jim McElwain.
Early on, this game looked like it was going to be a high-scoring affair. CSU tight end Crockett Gillmore hauled in a pass over the middle and outraced the Bison secondary for a 69-yard TD just 90 seconds into the contest.
NDSU quickly answered just over a minute later when Ojuri glided into the end zone. Soon after, Cole Jirik tackled tailback Tommey Morris in the end zone for a safety, giving the Bison a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
The stingy Bison defense allowed CSU to convert just one third-down play all game and sacked QB Garrett Grayson four times.
NDSU is now 6-3 against FBS schools since 2006.