FARGO, N.D. -- Nick Mertens threw two touchdown passes and North Dakota State overcame a sluggish start to beat Indiana State 34-7 Saturday, extending the Sycamores' losing streak to 23 games.
The game was tied 7-7 after one quarter, but it was all NDSU after that. The Bison limited the Sycamores to 19 yards of offense in the second half.
Mertens threw for 82 yards for NDSU (5-4, 3-3 Missouri Valley Football Conference), which has won back-to-back games for the first time since the first two weeks of the season. Mertens tossed a 15-yard TD pass to Alex Belquist in the first half and a 4-yarder to Tyler Jangula early in the fourth quarter.
NDSU's offense struggled in the first half before scoring twice in the last 1:20 of the second quarter to go up 20-7. The Sycamores (0-9, 0-5) outgained the Bison 124-117 in the first two quarters.
The Sycamores tied it on a 19-yard run by Antoine Brown with 4:28 remaining in the first quarter. Brown led the Sycamores with 70 yards on 11 carries.
Indiana State, which was outgained 247-143, ran for 103 yards.
Indiana State hasn't won a conference road game since 2002.