For the last two plus seasons, I have heard that the North Dakota State University football team is a second half team. After last week’s 31-10 win over Southern Illinois University, a game which the Bison trailed 10-7 at the half, I started to look into this claim.
I first looked at total points scored in the second half in the last two plus seasons. In 2011, the Bison scored a total of 470 points, with 239 of those coming in the second half. In 2012, the offense scored a total of 495 points, with 235 coming in the second half. So far this season, the Bison have totaled 247 points with 119 coming in the second half.
In the last 37 games, 49 percent of NDSU’s 1,212 points have come in the second half. Perhaps the second half prowess has more to do with the points they don’t allow. In 2011, the Bison allowed 191 points with 97 coming in the second half. Last year, they allowed 173 points, 61 in the second half.
So far this season, the Bison have allowed 90 points with 40 of those coming in the second half. Percentage wise, the opponents are only scoring 43 percent of their points in the second half against the Bison.
Another reason people believe NDSU is a second half team is the halftime scores of most games. In 21 of the last 37 games, NDSU has either trailed or led by a touchdown or less at the half. Their record overall in these games is 19-2.
Finally, the last thing I considered was how much NDSU has the ball in the second half. Their time of possession in the second half of games in 2011 was 16:24, in 2012 it was 17:49 and so far this year it has been 18:55.
All these numbers are insane when you think that this has not been over one season but nearly three. Not only that, but the second half numbers are consistently getting better. Just another fact that goes to show it may take a near miracle to beat this team in the second half of a game.
You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called “The Pinto and White Shadow Show.” Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.