(STATS) - So much focus at national champion North Dakota State this offseason centered around the Bison replacing the winningest quarterback in FCS history that the many changes on defense flew under the radar.
While many of the defensive players are different, the dominance hasn't changed.
The top-ranked Bison smothered No. 18 Delaware on Saturday in a 47-22 rout at Delaware Stadium - their 24th straight win to move into a tie for the third-longest streak in FCS history.
"That is the model," Delaware coach Danny Rocco said. "That is the program that you want to emulate. ... I expected more, but I realize we played a really, really good team."
NDSU (3-0) outgained Delaware 268-29 in the first half and built a 27-5 halftime lead. Coach Matt Entz's Missouri Valley Conference power, which next hosts No. 5 UC Davis, led 33-8 after three quarters before the Blue Hens (2-1) gained most of their yards, and two Nolan Henderson touchdown passes, when the game was out of reach.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Trey Lance, now piloting a Bison program that has won two straight and seven of the last eight FCS titles, completed 18 of 23 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns. He has accounted for 13 TDs in replacing Easton Stick, who went 49-3 as a starter in his career.
Safety Michael Tutsie had a team-high 10 tackles and his third interception of the season set up NDSU's first touchdown, Kobe Johnson's 1-yard run to answer a Delaware safety off a blocked punt out of the Bison end zone. Eight Bison players combined on seven sacks.
Running back Adam Cofield (24) and tight ends Ben Ellferson (5) and Noah Gindorff (4) had NDSU's touchdown catches. Cofield and Saybein Clark also rushed for touchdowns.
Delaware lost at NDSU 38-10 last season. The CAA Football program is 3-11 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams and 3-10 against defending national champions.
Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.