Late-game heroics lift Bemidji State to 42-35 win at No. 16 Minnesota Duluth

October 23, 20211st2nd3rd4thFinal
Bemidji State7772142
Minn. Duluth71414035
Scoring
1st Quarter
UMDTD05:57Carmickle 18 Yd Pass From Graetz (Cox kick)
BSUTD05:13Williams 59 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
2nd Quarter
UMDTD09:18Martin 27 Yd Run (Cox kick)
UMDTD03:26Martin 69 Yd Run (Cox kick)
BSUTD00:05Beaulieu 6 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
3rd Quarter
UMDTD06:24Bynum 3 Yd Pass From Larson (Cox kick)
BSUTD03:40Williams 29 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
UMDTD01:54Carmickle 26 Yd Pass From Graetz (Cox kick)
4th Quarter
BSUTD13:16Beaulieu 23 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
BSUTD09:18Duncan-Busby 16 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
BSUTD04:00Williams 33 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
Stats at a GlanceBSUUMD
1st Downs2124
3rd Down Conversions4-155-16
4th Down Conversions3-32-2
Passing (Comp-Att)269 (20-40) 274 (26-41)
Rushing (Att)108 (38) 158 (37)
Total Yards377432
Penalties7-7612-130
Turnovers34
Fumbles Lost12
Interceptions22
Possession25:1234:48
Late-game heroics lift Bemidji State to 42-35 win at No. 16 Minnesota Duluth
Saturday, October 23, 2021
Late-game heroics lift Bemidji State to 42-35 win at No. 16 Minnesota Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. (Malosky Stadium) -- Bemidji State University snapped an 80-year road drought against the University of Minnesota Duluth on Saturday afternoon following a 42-35 comeback victory to take the lead of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division. The Beavers scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take down the No. 16 Bulldogs, their first win over a ranked opponent since 2016 and first win against UMD since 1999.

Trailing 35-21 heading into the fourth quarter, the Beavers came away with three touchdown drives and forced two Bulldogs turnovers to fuel the late-game comeback. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Alt finished the day with six touchdown passes, tying the BSU single-game record, including three to senior wide receiver Malik Williams and two to senior wide receiver Brendan Beaulieu.

The “Gang Green” defense forced three three-and-outs for the UMD offense and drew two takeaways on the Bulldogs’ five fourth-quarter drives, limiting UMD to just 14 yards in the fourth quarter. Freshman defensive back Maalik Knox came away with his first interception of his career while junior edge rusher Zollie Kaplan recovered a fumble that would secure the Beavers win.

BSU’s defense came out hot during its first drive of the game, recording two sacks against Minnesota Duluth to set up a three-and-out. The Bemidji State offense took time to find its stride as it also went on a three-and-out to start the game. UMD began scoring with an 18-yard touchdown pass to cap a 73-yard drive on its second possession of the game.

Sophomore quarterback Brandon Alt connected with senior wide receiver Malik Williams on the ensuing drive for a 59-yard score to tie the game, 7-7. Both teams gave away two turnovers after BSU’s score, including a stop by the Beavers with a fumble recovery to eliminate a 1st-and-goal for the Bulldogs.

The second BSU turnover set up a 69-yard touchdown run by UMD to pull ahead, 21-7, with 3:26 to play in the half. Bemidji State followed and marched down the field in 15 plays to score just before halftime with a six-yard touchdown from Alt to senior wide receiver Brendan Beaulieu.

Both teams combined to punt following the first three drives of the second half before UMD went on a seven-play, 54-yard drive to extend its lead, 28-14. The Beavers followed on the next drive, behind 25 rush yards from sophomore running back Makaio Harn, to bring their deficit to one score again, 28-21. Harn’s rushing attack set up a 29-yard touchdown catch by Williams, his fourth straight game with multiple touchdown receptions.

The Beavers were poised to receive a punt late in the third quarter for a potential game-tying drive when the punt hit off a Beaver and was recovered by the Bulldogs. On the next play, UMD scored a touchdown to extend its lead, 35-21.

The monumental comeback began late in the third quarter as Alt found Beaulieu from 23 yards out to bring BSU within one score again, 35-28. BSU and UMD traded punts over the next two possessions before Knox recorded his first interception of the season to set up the Beavers offense at the UMD 24-yardline. In just two plays, Alt found junior wide receiver Dhel Duncan-Busby from 16 yards out to tie the game, 35-35.

BSU’s defense forced UMD to back-to-back three-and-outs to set up the go-ahead drive with 4:38 to play. After two plays, Alt found Williams for the third time on a catch and run touchdown, as Williams back stepped and tight-roped the sideline to run in from 33 yards out. Holding a 42-35 lead with 3:53 to play, BSU’s defense held against 10 UMD plays as Kaplan brought in the game-winning fumble recovery with 1:01 to play.

Alt totaled 269 passing yards with six touchdown passes, moving from ninth to second in single-season passing touchdowns at BSU with three games to play in the regular season. Williams brought in a season-high 10 receptions and set career highs with 176 yards and three touchdowns while Duncan-Busby caught four passes for 34 yards and one touchdown. Harn led the BSU backfield with 84 yards on 22 carries.

Senior defensive back Hameed Oyedele led the BSU defense in tackles for the third time this season, recording seven solo tackles and one assisted. Kaplan led the defensive unit with 3.0 tackles for a loss, including 1.0 sack, while totaling six total tackles.

Bemidji State totaled 377 total yards, including 108 rushing and 269 passing yards, compared to 432 total yards for Minnesota Duluth. BSU won the turnover battle, 4-3, and recorded at least three takeaways in four games this season.

The Beavers handed the Bulldogs their first loss in NSIC North play since 2015. BSU now holds the lead in the NSIC North with a 4-0 record in division play.

Bemidji State will host Southwest Minnesota State University Saturday, Oct. 30 at Chet Anderson Stadium for Military Appreciation Day.

For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUBeaversFB), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers or facebook.com/BSUBeaverFootball) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

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