Missouri State drops first playoff game in decades, falls 44-10 to North Dakota

Missouri State head coach Bobby Petrino walks on the sidelines in the first half of an NCAA...
Missouri State head coach Bobby Petrino walks on the sidelines in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)(Sue Ogrocki | AP)
Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT
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(KY3) - The Missouri State Bears come up short in their first NCAA FCS football playoff game in decades, falling 44-10 Saturday to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.

Jaden Johnson scored Missouri State’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter and rushed for 35 yards. Starting quarterback Matt Struck made eight passes on 15 attempts. Jose Pizano put Missouri State on the scoreboard in the first quarter with a 28-yard field goal.

North Dakota found the end zone on its first two drives and lead 14-3 after the first quarter. The Fighting Hawks scored 23 unanswered points over the next three quarters before Johnson’s touchdown.

Missouri State was one of six at-large selections announced to compete in the 16-team NCAA national playoff. It was the program’s first playoff game since 1990.

While the 2020-21 season ends with the loss, Missouri State football completed quite the checklist during year one under Bobby Petrino. The Bears beat multiple ranked opponents on the road, captured a share of the Valley Football Conference title and reached the FCS Playoffs.

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