FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Freshman Trey Lance threw three touchdown passes, two of them to Adam Cofield, and an FCS top-10 showdown never materialized as top-ranked North Dakota State breezed to a 46-14 victory over Northern Iowa, ranked 10th in the FCS Coaches poll, on Saturday.
Lance started the Bison (6-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference) off and running with two of his TD tosses in the first quarter — a 36-yarder to Phoenix Sproles that saw James Hendricks run it in for a 2-point conversion and a 19-yarder to Christian Watson that put NDSU up 15-0.
Northern Iowa (3-3, 1-1) got on the scoreboard in the second quarter when Will McElvain hit Isaiah Weston for a 17-yard scoring strike to cut the Panthers' deficit to 15-7. After Griffin Crosa kicked a 25-yard field goal for the Bison, UNI scored on Tyler Hoosman's 6-yard run to get within 18-14 at halftime.
NDSU ended any drama by scoring 28 straight points in the second half. Lance's third TD pass was a 30-yarder to Noah Gindorff in the third quarter for a 25-14 lead. Cofield scored on runs of 1 and 37 yards in the final period and Kobe Johnson capped the scoring with a 50-yard TD run.
Lance finished with 145 yards through the air, hitting 10 of 18 passes. Cofield had 15 carries and gained 104 of the Bison's 347 rushing yards.
McElvain completed 15 of 29 throws for 233 yards for the Panthers. Weston hauled in five passes for 129 yards.