BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — North Dakota quarterback Keaton Studsrud had one 3-yard scoring pass in the closing seconds on Saturday. He needed two.
After throwing a 3-yard TD to Stetson Carr with 13 seconds left against Bowling Green to get within a point, Studsrud’s point-after pass for the win fell incomplete and FBS Bowling Green held off the FCS Fighting Hawks.
North Dakota decided not to go to overtime even though kicker Reid Taubenheim was perfect in the game.
“We had the opportunity to win,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. “We had to make a play there. We felt we had the momentum. It would have been a huge win for us.”
BGU’s Scott Miller caught five passes for 161 yards and all three of James Knapke’s TD passes. Knapke was 23-for-40 for 315 yards.
The Falcons took an early lead on a 71-yard TD pass to wide-open Miller with 11:30 left in the first quarter. They made it 14-0 on Ronnie Moore’s 3-yard run around right end with 8:03 left. It was his only carry.
The Fighting Hawks got on the board on Taubenheim’s 36-yard field goal with 5:32 remaining in the half.
UND’s defense put its first touchdown on the board when Deion Harris returned his second interception of the game 61 yards with 1:49 left in the first half.
Knapke came right back and tossed a 51-yard TD to Miller straight over the middle with 1:05 left in the half.
Bowling Green (1-1) had 297 total yards at half, while UND was held to just 115. Knapke had 246 yards in the first half.
UND had some success in the second half.
“We felt we could move the ball on them. We just challenged our guys to compete and that’s what the real difference was. In the last three quarters of this game we competed.”
UND marched 79 yards in seven plays to close the gap with 12:01 to play in the third. John Santiago took a double reverse pitch 21 yards for a score to make it 21-17.
BGU’s next possession ended on the first play when Tyus Carter intercepted a Knapke pass at the Falcons’ 33. That led to Taubenheim’s 44-yard field goal to make it 21-20 with 9:48 left in the third quarter.
Miller’s third TD catch covered 11 yards and gave the Falcons a 27-20 lead with 6:22 left in the third.
UND put together an 11-play, 65-yard drive in just two minutes down the stretch. With 13 seconds left, Studsrud found Carr for the score. But his pass to the back right corner on the PAT was incomplete.
Studsrud was 21 for 36 for 219 yards.
“It’s tough,” Studsrud said. “We came out and battled and played a good FBS school and did what we could. We came up short.”
Santiago rushed for 119 yards for North Dakota (0-2).