Grand Forks, N.D. - Despite a late season Winter storm slowly making its way towards the Northern Plains, the North Dakota footbal team was able to get nearly 60 plays completed in its first spring scrimmage on Sunday at Memorial Stadium.
"We started a little earlier than anticipated and I'm not sure if that caused us to get off to a slow start, but I was pleased with how we ended the scrimmage," UND head coach Chris Mussman said. "After that first drive, I thought our defense woke up and did some nice things, had some big stops. And, our offense made some big plays, converted on some long third downs which was nice to see."
In all, UND's three redshirt freshmen quarterbacks alternated through 11 series with each able to get about 20 snaps in during the session.
Ryan Bartels marched the first-team offense down the field on the opening drive, completing all four of his passes for 52, including a 29-yard strike to sophomore Kenny Golladay for the lone touchdown of the scrimmage. He finished the day 9-of-11 for 100 yards and the one touchdown pass.
Joe Mollberg was also efficient in his three series, completing 7-of-11 passes for 53 yards. On his second drive, Mollberg moved the second-team offense down to the 36-yard line before he came up short on third-down scramble that would have resulted in a 47-yard field goal attempt. There were no placekicks during the scrimmage, however.
On his third drive, Bartels moved the offense inside the red zone for the second time under his direction, getting all the way down the five-yard line after a pass interference call prolonged the series. He was touched up for a sack by junior Spencer Cummings to stop the drive. Bartels connected with senior Blair Townsend for 11 yards on a 3rd-and-10 to keep the drive going early in the series.
Cummings had one of our sacks on the day for the defense. Redshirt freshman Devon Hall led that side of the bal with five tackles, including half of his team's sacks. He also had a tackle for loss working primarily with the third-team defense.
Junior Adam Shaugabay and redshirt freshman Kodee Varner split the work load at the running back position. Shaugabay led the duo with seven rushes for 61 yards, including the longest play of the scrimmage when he reeled off 26 yards on a first-down carry. Varner finished with 11 yards rushing and one reception for six yards.
Golladay led all receivers with four catches for 60 yards and his 29-yard touchdown grab. Sophomore Jameer Jackson had three catches for 24 yards, while Townsend also turned three catches into 18 yards.
- The session featured a full officiating crew, who did a nice job of keeping a good flow to the scrimmage. The only penalties whistled during the scrimmage were a false start and holding calls on the offense and a pass interference call on the defense.
- Of the 59 plays, 32 were rushes and 27 were passes.
- Hall led all players with five tackles, while linebacker Ben Peters, safety Baylee Carr and linebacker Will Ratelle were each credited with four stops.
- Cornerback Daryl Brown was praised for his work by defensive coordinator Josh Kotelnicki. Brown had three solo stops and did a nice job of open-field tackling. Kotelnicki said he was also impressed with redshirt freshman linebacker Taj Rich, who had a tackle and provided some pressure on the quarterbacks.
Ryan Bartels (9-of-11, 100 yards, 1 TD), Joe Mollberg (7-of-11, 53 yards), Jake Hansen (3-of-5, 10 yards)
Adam Shaugabay (7 rushes for 61 yards), Kodee Varner (10 rushes for 11 yards), Ryan Bartels (3 rushes for 3 yards), Joe Mollberg (3 rushes for 10 yards), Jake Hansen (5 rushes for 11 yards), Romon Bridges (1 rush, -5 yards)
Kenny Golladay (4 rec for 61 yards, 1 TD), Jameer Jackson (3 rec for 24 yards), Blair Townsend (3 rec for 18 yards), Romon Bridges (3 rec for 10 yards), Casey Young ( 2 rec for 30 yards), Anthony Fletcher (2 rec for 12 yards), Kodee Varner (1 rec for 6 yards), Taylor Grant (1 rec for 3 yards)
Devon Hall (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL), Ben Peters (4 tackles), Baylee Carr (4 tackles), Will Ratelle (4 tackles), Chavon Mackey (3 tackles), Daryl Brown (3 tackles), Will Lewis (3 tackles), Chris Hall (3 tackles)