GRAND FORKS -- Blue skies and sunny weather proved perfect for day three of fall practices for the University of North Dakota football team.
UND wore shells — helmets and shoulder pads — for the first time of the fall, adding a bit more physicality to practice No. 3. Full contact was off limits, but there were a handful of collisions as the team readies for its first season in the Big Sky Conference.
That was especially true for the offensive and defensive linemen, who worked on one-on-one drills midway through practice. Defensively, sophomore Ben Henson (Buffalo, Minn.) and freshman Mike Edwards (Sun Prairie, Wis.) showed off both strength and speed at nose tackle.
Later during team drills, the offense showed off some of the same characteristics. Senior running back Mitch Sutton powered his way to the outside for a big gain.
Senior quarterback Braden Hanson then connected with junior Greg Hardin, showing off some nice chemistry for a nice gain through the middle. Redshirt freshman Jameer Jackson hauled in a bubble screen, getting the big man into free space.
The young defensive backs quietly held their own, picking off three passes and batting away another nine throughout the day.
Practice ended just before Noon, but the work continued into the afternoon with meetings and a team dinner. UND will hold its media day on Monday.