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The North Dakota State Bison ran for 499 yards in their season-opening win against Mississippi Valley State. Two players ran for more than 125 yards each; in all, five players ran for more than 50 yards apiece. The Bison scored seven touchdowns on the ground, averaged 9.4 yards per carry and lost yardage just once in 53 attempts.

In their second game, it was more of the same. NDSU ran for 395 yards. Bruce Anderson and Lance Dunn each topped 145.

The Bison are an extreme example here. They’re the gold-run standard of the FCS. But this is a recurring theme in the FCS: Control the clock, move the sticks, wait for a big play and churn out the victories.

Sure, everyone chucks the ball once in a while. But running the ball is still considered the way to play it safe. And in the FCS, it can be positively explosive.

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Richmond leads the country in passing yards per game with 380.7. North Dakota State averages 436.5 yards on the ground. The Citadel — the second-most prolific running attack in the FCS — averages only .7 rushing yards per game less than Richmond does passing yards.

Josh Mack, the Maine tailback who leads the FCS in rushing yards per game, needed just 13 carries to scamper for 255 yards in his last outing. That’s 19.6 yards per carry. His longest run went for 66 yards. Western Carolina running back Detrez Newsome, who leads the FCS in total rushing yards, went for 288 of them on just 15 carries against Davidson in Week 2. That’s 19.2 yards per tote. He ripped off an 88-yard touchdown.