Are you ready for Fighting Sioux football? With fall camp around the corner, we're counting down the days to the return of UND football. With 45 days to go until the pigskin flies through the air for the first time, we'll be previewing all 11 UND opponents during that stretch right here on FightingSioux.com.
Countdown to season: 45 days
What: Game 2, vs. FBS opponent
When: Saturday, Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. CT
Where: Kibbie Dome; Moscow, Idaho
Why: UND heads on the road for the first time of the 2011 season during week two with a trip to play Idaho for the second-straight year. Last year's contest against the Vandals did not go so well, but the Fighting Sioux will get their chance for revenge at the Kibbie Dome.
After reflecting on the loss last year, UND felt things snowballed against them. The two teams waged a defensive battle early on before the Vandals broke things open thanks to a couple of Sioux turnovers. Then, Idaho went to its bag of tricks and recovered an onside kick to start the second half and never looked back.
Learning from those mistakes and cutting down on the turnovers will be key during this second meeting with the Western Athletic Confernece member. Both squads will have had nine days in between their second contest and their season openers. Idaho opens at home on Thursday, Sept. 1 - just like the Fighting Sioux. The Vandals play host to Bowling Green, while UND entertains Drake.
Much like last year, the Fighting Sioux defense will have to compete against a potent Idaho offense - though it will have a different field general. Brian Reader enters the season as the starting quarterback, replacing Nathan Enderle, who was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by Chicago. Reader has seen a bit of time as a back-up and has enough promise to have been named a preseason All-WAC third team selection.
Reader will be flanked by offensive tackle Matt Cleveland, who was an All-WAC first team selection and running back Ryan Bass, who was named a second-team selection.
Defensively, Idaho was strong during spring drills and UND's offense will have another tough task. However, following the shutout in last year's opener, the Sioux gained some experience and some youthful big-play ability emerged (see: Greg Hardin), so it should be a very fun with what the Sioux hope will be a different outcome.