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 eight days to go until the pigskin flies through the air for the first time, we continue our preview of all 11 UND opponents during that stretch right here on FightingSioux.com.
Countdown to football: 8 days
Who: Northern Colorado
What: Matchup with future Big Sky foe and former NCC foe
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Nottingham Field
Why: The clash with the Bears will be the lone opportunity for the Fighting Sioux to get a preview for what is to come next season when UND enters the Big Sky. The matchup also gives UND a chance to even the all-time record with NC at 12 wins a piece.
The game is the first between the two schools in nearly 10 years after the Bears defeated UND, 28-12, in Greeley in 2002. No team has ever won more than two straight in the series that NC leads 12-11.
Northern Colorado enters the 2011 season under the direction of first-year head coach Earnest Collins, who returned to his alma mater as head coach during the previous offseason.
Collins takes over a program, like UND, finished the 2010 campaign with a 3-8 mark. The Bears finished 2-6 in Big Sky play. The team did bring the season to a close on a high note, knocking off Portland State, 35-30, in the season finale. That victory snapped a seven-game skid the Bears had ensued since posting a Big Sky win over Idaho State, 35-21, on Sept. 18.
Senior Dylan Orms is back to the lead the offense after throwing for 2,055 yards and 15 touchdowns a season ago. NC did lose its top rusher in Andre Harris, who piled up 690 yards and 10 scores in 2010.
Defensively, the Bears' top returner is defensive end Nick Hernon. The senior posted a team-high 10.5 tackles for a loss last season.