Ames, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Here's a number that's bigger than the 24 seniors whose departure was supposed to make North Dakota State vulnerable this season:
Twenty-five - as in the Bison's new record winning streak on the FCS level.
On Saturday, the three-time reigning FCS champions ignored their offseason losses and picked up where they left off in January with a 34-14 victory over Iowa State.
As first-year head coach Chris Klieman won his debut, NDSU pulled away from the 1992-95 Penn and 2001-02 Montana squads that also had 24-game winning streaks on the FCS level. It also marked the fifth straight season in which the Bison (1-0) have beaten an FBS opponent, including three from the Big 12 (Iowa State as well as Kansas in 2010 and Kansas State last year).
Senior running back John Crockett stole the show from Iowa State. On NDSU's first play from scrimmage after the Cyclones (0-1) had taken a 14-0 lead in the opening minute of the second quarter, Crockett ran for a career-long 80-yard touchdown to reverse the momentum. He went on to rush for two more touchdowns and finish with 138 yards on 18 carries.
The Bison scored 34 unanswered points. New starting quarterback Carson Wentz settled in well while completing 18-of-28 passes for 204 yards. Also, the Bison defense was its usual stifling self in holding the Cyclones to 253 yards and forcing interceptions by senior safeties Christian Dudzik and Colten Heagle.