PFL Champion Drake Opens FCS Playoffs at North Dakota State

Sunday, November 19, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Pioneer Football League Champion Drake returns to The Fargodome for the second consecutive season to face North Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship. The Bulldogs and Bisons are set to play a 3:30 p.m. (ET), Saturday contest in Fargo, North Dakota.

Drake (8-3, 8-0 PFL) makes its first appearance in the FCS Playoffs after winning the 2023 PFL Championship outright. The Bulldogs won their first PFL title since 2012 and seventh overall. Drake makes its first postseason appearance since winning the 2004 PFL Championship Game against Morehead State.

The Bulldogs become the fifth different PFL program to appear in the FCS Playoffs. The league gained an automatic bid in 2013 and is 2-10 all-time in the tournament, with San Diego winning first-round games in both 2016 and 2017 before falling in the second round to North Dakota State each season.

North Dakota State (8-3, 5-3 MVFC) makes its 13th appearance in the playoffs but is playing in the first round for the first time since 2010. The Bisons finished in a four-team tie for third place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference behind No. 1 overall seed South Dakota State and No. 4 seed South Dakota. The nine-time FCS champions are 44-4 all-time in the tournament.

The Bulldogs and Bison have met once previously, with North Dakota State claiming a 56-14 victory at The Fargodome in 2022. Drake running back Dorian Boyland caught the first touchdown in that game and finished with 60 rushing yards on 15 carries, while quarterback Luke Bailey completed 5-of-7 passes for 46 yards off the bench, and now-wide receiver Ian Corwin completed 8-of-15 passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns.