FARGO, N.D. -- North Dakota State rallied from 20 points down with a dominating second half to beat the Salukis 35-27 Saturday in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
The Bison (3-2, 1-1) were led on offense by rugged running back Tyler Roehl, who rushed 26 times for 125 yards and caught three passes for 34 yards.
The result spoiled a return trip to the state for former University of North Dakota head coach Dale Lennon, who took over the Southern Illinois program this year. The Salukis rolled to a 20-0 lead late in the first half and then self-destructed.
The Bison drove 80 yards in 15 plays for the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. The drive was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass by Nick Mertens, whose toss into traffic was tipped into the air and corralled by Jordan Schultenover in the end zone.
The Salukis (2-2, 1-1) piled up 206 yards of total offense in the first half, with no turnovers and only two penalties. They stumbled to just 125 total yards in the second half, with two turnovers and 10 penalties.
Chris Dieker threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Salukis, including a 12-yarder to Bryce Morris to give the visitors a 20-0 lead late in the second quarter. The Bison began their comeback with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Mertens to Jerimiah Wurzbacher, 36 seconds before intermission.