Grand Forks, N.D. - The North Dakota football team will put a 10-game Potato Bowl winning streak on the line Saturday when old North Central Conference rival South Dakota State comes to town for a 6:05 p.m. kickoff at the Alerus Center. The No. 6/7 Jacks are coming off a 2012 FCS Playoff appearance, but have not played in Grand Forks since the Alerus Center opened in 2001.
• North Dakota and South Dakota State have met just once as Division I foes, but the old North Central Conference rivals will be playing for the 85th time on Saturday in a series history that dates back to 1906. UND owns a 46-33-5 edge in the series.
• The Jackrabbits were victorious in the lone DI matchup, defeating the Green and White 21-0 in the 2010 season finale.
• Five current UND players participated in the 2010 game. Running back Jake Miller had three carries for 21 yards. Wide receivers Greg Hardin and R.J. McGill each had two catches -- 23 and 17 yards, respectively. Defensively, cornerback Chris Hall had three tackles and linebacker Dominique Bennett added one take down.
• UND had won the final four contests between the two teams as Division II counterparts. The Green and White have also won the last six meetings between the two schools in Grand Forks.
• This will be SDSU’s first trip to Grand Forks since the 2001 season when UND defeated the Jacks 44-9 in the opening year of the Alerus Center.
LIVE FROM GRAND FORKS
TV: Midco Sports Network (Channel 27, 622), Fox College Sports
Video: Watch Big Sky (www.WatchBigSky.com - FREE webcast)
Radio: UND Radio Network (96.1 FM — Grand Forks) - pregame show at 6 p.m. CT
Audio: UND Radio Network broadcast also available at www.UNDSports.com
Chat: Chat live at www.UNDSports.com
Stats: Live stats available at www.UNDSports.com
Twitter: For live scoring updates and game notes follow @UNDFootball
GROUNDBREAKING FOR NEW INDOOR FACILITY
A groundbreaking ceremony for the UND Athletics High Performance Center is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5 at the outdoor practice field, south of Memorial Stadium. The facility will serve as an indoor training facility and be available for each of UND’s 19 athletic teams and includes a 100-yard artificial turf field, a 300-meter, eight-lane track, spectator seating, a state-of-the-art academic center, a sports medicine facility and a weight room.
POTATO BOWL USA
The Potato Bowl USA is a week-long festival teaming UND and the Red River Valley potato growing industry. The week, which features a parade, a golf tournament, an 8K run, the world’s largest french fry feed is capped off with a tailgating party at a UND football game.
• UND owns a 37-10 record all-time in the Potato Bowl USA game that dates back to 1966.
• UND has won 10 straight and 17 of the last 18 Potato Bowls.
• South Dakota State has been UND’s opponent in three previous Potato Bowls. UND won each of those contests (1989, 13-2; 1991, 36-10; and 1997, 28-7).
• UND scored a Potato Bowl record 59 points in the 2003 shutout of Minnesota Crookston. That contest followed the largest setback for UND in Potato Bowl history after Central Washington won 43-7 in 2002.
NEXT OPPONENT: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
The Jackrabbits are coming off a 9-4 season when the team advanced to the FCS playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season. SDSU fell to North Dakota State 28-3 in the opening round last season in Fargo.
The Jacks are ranked No. 6 and No. 7 this week in the Sports Network and FCS Coaches’ polls, respectively. Senior quarterback Austin Sumner and junior running back Zach Zenner lead the offense. Sumner threw for 326 yards and moved into sixth place on SDSU’s all-time passing charts in the 55-14 season-opening win over Butler. He now has 5,151 yards in his career. Zenner picked up where he left off last season, piling up 117 yards and two touchdowns in just over a half of action. Zenner is a Walter Payton Award candidate and was a 2012 All-American after leading the FCS in rushing with 2,044 rushing yards.
The Jacks’ defense only surrendered 16.4 ppg last season and allowed just 14 to Butler in the opener.
DID YOU KNOW?
• UND right tackle Darren Deneui is the only South Dakota native on the roster. SDSU does not have a native of North Dakota on its roster.
• The teams combined for 18 punts in their last meeting.
• Before SDSU moved to the FCS level after the 2003 season, the teams played each season between 1948 and 2003.
HISTORY OF THE SERIES
• UND has shutout SDSU 10 times, including a 43-0 victory in 1966. The Jacks have only shutout UND four times, including a 21-0 victory in the last meeting in 2010. The teams played to a 0-0 tie in 1915.
• SDSU scored the most points in the series in a 60-6 victory in 1952. The 54 points were also the largest margin of victory for either team in the series.
MAGIC CARPET RIDE
• UND is 67-13 in 12 seasons at the Alerus Center, including a 10-0 mark in the Division II playoffs. UND has gone undefeated in the building during a season three times (2003, 2004 and 2006).
• Head coach Chris Mussman is 21-9 all-time at UND’s home facility and improved to 4-0 in season openers at the Alerus thanks to the 69-10 victory over Valparaiso last Thursday.
• In those 21 home wins under Mussman’s guidance, UND is averaging 39.4 ppg and the team is 18-1 at home when scoring 30 or more points. The only setback occurred last season when Northern Arizona defeated UND 45-38 on Oct. 13.
SPECIAL DAY, CFPA HONORS
Special teams coordinator Benny Boyd will always remember his first game in that role at UND after both his kickoff return team and punt return team scored touchdowns in the season-opener vs. Valparaiso. Sophomore Kenny Golladay scored the first of those touchdowns on a 64-yard punt return, which was the first of his career. Senior Greg Hardin then took the opening kickoff of the second half back 90 yards for a touchdown. The last time UND returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same game was in a 54-6 victory over Morningside in 2000.
Golladay and Hardin were both honored by College Football Performance Awards officials for their touchdown returns. Golladay was one of five FCS players to share the National Punt Returner of the Week award, while Hardin was one of four to share National Kick Return of the Week accolades.
Redshirt freshman quarterbacks Ryan Bartels and Joe Mollberg both made strong first impressions in Thursday’s 69-10 victory over Valparaiso. Bartels connected with senior Greg Hardin on a 75-yard touchdown pass on his first collegiate snap en route to finishing 10-for-12 for 212 yards. Mollberg only misfired once on seven attempts, going 6-for-7 for 74 yards in his debut. The rookie duo combined to lead UND to a school record for points in the Division I era and the most since a 69-0 victory over Morningside in 1972.
HOME RUN HARDIN
Senior Greg Hardin’s 75-yard touchdown on the opening play from scrimmage was his 29th career touchdown and he became just the seventh UND player to score 30 career touchdowns when he took the opening kickoff of the second half back 90 yards to the end zone. For his career, Hardin now has 27 career receiving scores, one rushing score and two kickoff returns for scores. Hardin also finished with five catches for 163 yards to post the 10th 100-yard receiving game of his career. Those five catches moved Hardin into second place on the career receptions list with 154. Weston Dressler holds the record at 199.
WHERE IT RANKED
The UND offense scored its most points since moving to the Division I era in the 69-10 season-opening victory over Valpo. It was also the most points scored by UND since defeating Morningside 69-0 in 1972.
• The 69 points were also the third most scored by a FCS team and most by a Big Sky team during the opening weekend.
• Senior wideout Greg Hardin’s 163 receiving yards were the fourth most among FCS receivers in the opening weekend and his 253 all-purpose yards were the second most.
• Hardin’s 90-yard kickoff return was one of four scored in the FCS.
• Sophomore wideout Kenny Golladay’s 64-yard punt return was one of five scored in the FCS. It was Golladay’s first career punt return.
• Redshirt freshman Ryan Bartels pass efficiency was 259.2, which was tops in the Big Sky and would have been tops in the FCS, but he fell short of the minimum requirement of 15 attempts (10-for-12).
MILLER BREAKS INTO TOP 10, CHASES 2,000
Senior running back Jake Miller moved into the top 10 for career regular season rushing touchdowns at UND after scoring three in the season-opening win vs. Valparaiso. Miller’s three touchdowns gave him 21 rushing scores for his career, tying him with Bill Deutsch in seventh place. Miller, who only had two rushing scores a season ago, also posted his sixth 100-yard rushing game against the Crusaders, carrying 17 times for 108 yards. Miller needs to 210 rushing yards to reach the 2,000-yard plateau for his career.
Junior Adam Shaugabay earned the role as UND’s short-yardage back during fall camp and showed quickly in the opener that the coaches made a wise decision. Shaugabay only had five carries for 16 yards against the Crusaders, but three of those went for touchdowns. In 19 previous career games, Shaugabay had only found the end zone twice.
FROM THE DID YOU KNOW CATEGORY
• UND opens the season with four straight home games; the last time that happened was in 1955. Mercer is the only other FCS school that opens with its first four games at home.
• UND will play nine of its 11 regular season games indoors. The only road games on the slate are at Portland State (Oct. 26) and UC Davis (Nov. 16) will be played outdoors.
• FCS teams are allowed to play 12 games this season, but UND and Northern Arizona are the only two in the Big Sky that opted to play 11. The remaining 11 league teams all have full schedules. Like UND, NAU is also playing a non-conference game against a Big Sky foe when the Lumberjacks play at UC Davis on Sept. 14.
Head coach Chris Mussman has two new coordinators calling plays on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball in 2013. Long-time coordinators Greg Breitbach (offensive) and Mike Mannausua (defensive) left the program following the 2012 season. Breitbach is now the head coach at Millersville (Pa.) University - a Division II institution, while Mannausau took over as the Assistant A.D. and executive director of the Champions Club at UND. Their replacements weren’t hard to find, in fact both were just down the hallway as assistant head coach and linebackers coach Josh Kotelnicki was elevated to defensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Luke Schleusner takes over the reigns as offensive coordinator.
Kotelnicki and Schleusner are no strangers to the program as both were key contributors to the 2001 Division II national championship won by UND and both have been on Mussman’s coaching staff. Kotelnicki is entering his eighth season overall on the coaching staff, while Schleusner begins his third. Safeties coach Benny Boyd will take over as the special teams coordinator – a post that Kotelnicki held since the 2008 season.
After landing on The Sports Network All-America Third Team last season (65 catches, 1,145 yards and 15 TDs), senior wide receiver Greg Hardin has garnered plenty of preseason accolades and deservedly so. Hardin was on five preseason All-America Teams (Beyond Sports Network, 1st Team; The Sports Network, 2nd Team, Phil Steele’s, 2nd Team WR and KR, USA College Football; 1st Team and College Sports Journal; 2nd Team). Hardin is also one of 41 FCS players on the Senior Bowl watch list for an invite to that prestigious event and College Football Performance Awards officials have him on their watch lists for wide receiver and kickoff returner of the year accolades. Classmate Zeb Miller was named to the CFPA’s watch list for the organization’s Placekicker of the Year Award and is on the Fred Mitchell watch list for a similar honor. He was also named a preseason All-American by Phil Steele’s (3rd Team) and College Sports Journal (Third Team).
PERMANENT CAPTAINS FOR 2013
Senior linebacker Garrison Goodman and senior wide receiver Blair Townsend were voted permanent team captains for the upcoming 2013 season. Goodman appeared in only seven games a season ago, but still ranked fourth on the team in tackles. Townsend had his most productive season to date, catching 27 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
HONORARY GAME CAPTAIN vs. SDSU
UND Athletic Hall of Famer Ron “Magic” Gustafson will serve as the honorary game captain for the South Dakota State game. Gustafson still ranks among the top 10 on UND’s all-time lists for career receptions (5th; 141), career receiving yards (3rd; 2,243) and career receiving touchdowns (6th; 18). Gustafson was inducted into the UND Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989.
MCGILL TO REDSHIRT
Head coach Chris Mussman announced at the end of fall camp that senior wide receiver R.J. McGill will take his redshirt this season and have one season of eligibility left in 2014. McGill suffered a season-ending knee injury vs. Cal Poly in the fifth game of the 2012 campaign. McGill tried to come back for fall camp, but after a handful of practices was shut down.
THREE TRUE FRESHMAN SEE ACTION IN OPENER
Three true freshmen made their collegiate debuts in the season-opening win over Valparaiso. Fullback Dustin Iverson played on a special teams and carried the ball twice for three yards. Defensive tackle Marcus Cheatom also saw action in a reserve role and had two tackle assists. Freshman punter Mitch Meindel made the box score, but for duties other than punting. Meindel only went back to punt once in the opener, but instead of punting, he took off running after an errant snap. Meindel gained a first down on the play after scampering for 17 yards. It was the second longest run from scrimmage for UND during the game. Freshman safety Cam Kuksa was suspended for the opener for a violation of team rules, but should see his first collegiate action vs. South Dakota State.
In the last three seasons, only four UND players have played during their true freshman season: Jake Miller (RB; 2010), R.J McGill (WR; 2010), Jer Garman (RB; 2011) and Kenny Golladay (WR; 2012).
UND attempted 396 passes during the 2012 campaign, which is a mark only topped once in program history by the 1986 squad (433). The 1986 campaign was also the only other season in UND history where the offense attempted more passes than rushes before 2012. UND rushed 349 times during its inaugural Big Sky season, which was 47 fewer times than the quarterbacks put the ball in the air.
NO FBS GAMES IN 2013
After playing at least one game against a FBS opponent in each of the last four seasons, UND will take a one-year break from playing a team from the highest level of college football. The 2013 schedule worked out to where UND will have seven home games, including non-conference games against Valparaiso, South Dakota State and Montana. UND will resume playing FBS teams in 2014 and has at least one of those opponents scheduled through the 2018 season. Three of UND’s last five games against FBS foes have been decided by eight points or less, including a 49-41 loss at San Diego State in 2012.
2014: Sat., Aug. 30 at San Jose State (Mountain West)
2015: Sat., Sept. 5 at Wyoming (Mountain West)
2016: TBA vs. Bowling Green (MAC)
2017: Thur., Aug. 31 at Utah (Pac-12)
2018: Sat., Sept. 15 at Washington (Pac-12)
COACHING STAFF SHUFFLE
With the elevations of Josh Kotelnicki to defensive coordinator and Luke Schleusner to offensive coordinator, head coach Chris Mussman had some openings to fill on his coaching staff. He filled those by hiring Mike Cunningham to coach the offensive line, former UND safety Joel Schwenzfeier to coach the running backs and Truman State graduate Jason Thier to coach the inside linebackers. Cunningham comes to UND after a seven-year stint with Mankato State where he coached the O-line and was also the running game coordinator since 2009. For Schwenzfeier, this is his first collegiate coaching job, while Thier arrived in Grand Forks after two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Montana Western (NAIA). Assistant Coach Kyle Myers was elevated to a full-time post as well prior to spring football and will coach the defensive line after coaching the outside linebackers in 2012.
THAT'S OUR SPECIALTY
North Dakota’s special teams unit blocked three kicks against Portland State on Sept. 8 to pick up where it left off from last season after leading the FCS with 10 blocked kicks. Since moving up to the Division I level in 2008, the UND special teams have a total of 33 blocks. The unit added two more blocks in the loss at Montana State.
-- UND --