Grand Forks, N.D. - North Dakota and Idaho State will tangle in Pocatello for the second time in six seasons on Saturday when the two teams square off in a Big Sky Conference tilt at Holt Arena. Kickoff is set for 2:05 p.m. MT/3:05 p.m. CT.
• UND holds a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with Idaho State that began with back-to-back shutouts by the Green and White in 1965 (27-0) and 1966 (41-0). UND has outscored ISU 102-35 in the three contests.
• The latest meeting occurred in 2008 when a 38-35 victory over the Bengals marked the first road win for both the program at the Division I level and for Chris Mussman in what was his first year as the head coach.
• Mussman is 29-29 during his five-plus seasons and owns a 21-11 record at home and 8-18 record on the road.
• UND’s last road win came in its Big Sky debut at Sacramento State (Sept. 22) last season. UND defeated the Hornets 35-13 in that contest.
• Current quarterbacks coach Danny Freund helped UND to the win at Holt Arena in 2008 after going 20-for-26 for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
• UND is looking to snap a three-game losing streak after opening the season with a 69-10 victory over Valparaiso. All three of those losses were against top-25 opponents.
• The last 1-3 start by a UND team came during the 1989 season.
LIVE FROM POCATELLO
Video: Watch Big Sky (www.WatchBigSky.com - FREE webcast)
Radio: UND Radio Network (96.1 FM — Grand Forks) Pregame at 1:30 p.m.
Audio: UND Radio Network broadcast also available at www.UNDSports.com
Chat: Chat live at www.UNDSports.com
Stats: Live stats available at www.ISUBengals.com
Twitter: For live scoring updates and game notes follow @UNDFootball
NEXT OPPONENT: IDAHO STATE
Idaho State dropped its Big Sky opener on the road last Saturday at UC Davis. The Bengals pulled to within three points of the Aggies early in the fourth quarter, but UC Davis scored two unanswered touchdowns to put the game away and post a 30-13 win.
Head coach Mike Kramer is in his third season guiding the Bengals and owns a 5-21 record during his brief tenure in Pocatello. Kramer is the only active coach currently in Division I to have been the head coach at three different schools in the same league. Kramer has also been a Big Sky head man at Montana State (2000-06) and Eastern Washington (1994-99). He was named Big Sky Coach of the Year at both of his previous stops making him the only coach in league history to do so.
Idaho State opened the season with back-to-back wins over Dixie State and Western State, but the Bengals were greeted rudely by FBS foe Washington in week three. The Huskies blanked visiting ISU 56-0.
Junior quarterback Justin Arias is completing 56 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,222 yards through four games. He has five touchdown passes to go against four interceptions. Arias is a transfer from the College of the Canyons.
Sophomore Xavier Finney is the top rusher for the Bengals and has almost matched his rushing total from the 2012 season through four games. He posted 288 to lead ISU as a freshman, but already has 264 yards in 2013. Cam Richmond was an honorable mention All-Big Sky receiver last season and leads the Bengals with 29 catches for 334 yards in 2013. He finished last season with 67 catches for 739 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior Greg Hardin started the season trailing former UND standout Weston Dressler by 489 yards for the all-time regular season receiving yardage record at UND. After four games with 17 catches for 416 yards, Hardin has shrunk that deficit to just 73 yards. The Bellevue, Neb. native is averaging 104.0 receiving yards per game, but was held without a catch for the first time in his collegiate career in last Saturday’s loss to Montana State.
Hardin has added three touchdown receptions as well to bring his career total in that category to 29. Dressler holds that all-time record at 35. Hardin had his second 200-yard receiving game of his career against South Dakota State (Sept. 7), finishing with seven catches for 207 yards and two touchdowns. With his Big Sky record 333-yard outing against Montana last season, Hardin owns two of the seven 200-yard receiving games in UND history. Hardin now has 11 100-yard receiving games in his career. Dressler owns the overall record for career receiving yardage as well at 3,382 yards. He added 463 yards in his Division II playoff appearances. Hardin is 536 yards off that pace and needs just 154 yards to reach the 3,000-yard plateau.
Hardin is not only making an impact catching the ball, but has become one of the top kick returners in the nation as well. He ranks third in the FCS and first in the Big Sky in all-purpose yardage (220.8 ypg) and is second in the league in kickoff return average (25.6). Hardin had a personal-best 194 kickoff return yards vs. Montana State.
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 added his fourth of the season vs. Montana State (Sept. 28) and now stands tied for sixth on UND’s all-time list for regular-season rushing touchdowns with 22. Miller, who only had two rushing scores a season ago, also posted his sixth 100-yard rushing game against Valpo, carrying 17 times for 108 yards. After netting 93 yards vs. Montana State, Miller needs 55 rushing yards to reach the 2,000-yard plateau for his career.
Sophomore wide receiver Kenny Golladay posted career highs in both receptions (8) and receiving yards (117) in the 35-28 loss to No. 6/7 South Dakota State on Sept. 7 and went over the 100-yard plateau for the second-consecutive game in the loss to Montana (Sept. 14). Against the Grizzlies, Golladay had seven catches for 107 yards and another receiving touchdown. The back-to-back 100-yard receiving games were the first two of his career. Golladay leads the team with 22 receptions this season (317 yards) and ranks eighth in the Big Sky averaging 5.5 catches per game and is eighth in yardage per game as well (79.2).
RED ZONE SUCCESS
North Dakota remained one of only five FCS teams and the only Big Sky team to score each time it has entered the opponent’s red zone. UND is 14-for-14 in those opportunities through four games and has scored touchdowns on 12 of those trips. The other four FCS with perfect markrs in the red zone are Cornell, Duquesne, Tennessee Tech and Norfolk State.
DOME SWEET DOME
UND will play nine of its 11 games indoors during the 2013 season, including the first six contests. Five of those will be at the Alerus Center and UND will not play an away game until an Oct. 5 trip to Idaho State. The Bengals play their home games inside as well at Holt Arena. The only two outdoor games on the schedule are an Oct. 26 matchup at Portland State and the regular-season finale at UC Davis on Nov. 16.
Despite a 4-for-11 effort on third-down conversions in the loss to Montana State, UND remained at top the Big Sky charts with a 50.9 success rate for the season. The Green and White have converted 27-of-53 chances (50.9). Montana is close behind at 50 percent (25-for-50).
GOODMAN, CARR REACH DOUBLE FIGURES
Senior linebacker Garrison Goodman returned to the starting lineup after missing the Montana game and did so in fine fashion. Goodman equalled his career high with 12 tackles and added seven solo stops in the contest. Junior Baylee Carr, who led the team in tackles in 2012 with 57, also equaled his career-high with 10 take downs. Carr only had eight total tackles in UND’s first three games of the campaign.
UND and Idaho State are the only two Big Sky teams this season without an interception. Linebackers Dayo Idowu and Ben Peters bot had their hands on near picks in Saturday’s loss to Montana State, but Idowu dropped what appeared to be a sure-fire INT and Peters was out of bounds when his feet came down after stepping in front of a Denarius McGhee pass on the sideline.
HICKEL TO THE HOUSE
Linebacker Dayo Idowu collected just UND’s second turnover of the season in the fourth quarter of the Montana State contest when he scooped up a bad snap by the Bobcats. Unfortunately, Idowu was then stripped from behind by MSU quarterback Jake Bleskin, but fellow linebacker Alex Hickel picked up that loose ball and took it the remaining 13 yards for UND’s first defensive touchdown since the 2011 season (vs. South Dakota).
BACK TO THE GROUND
For just the third time in nine Big Sky games and first since the Oct. 6 matchup with Eastern Washington last season, UND rushed the ball more often than throwing it on Saturday vs. Montana State. Led by senior Jake Miller, UND averaged 4.7 yards per carry on 35 attempts to finish with 165 yards on the ground. The rushing total was the most since UND’s Big Sky opener at Sacramento State in 2012 when Mitch Sutton and company churned out 294 yards on the Hornets. Miller finished with 93 yards on 17 carries (5.5 ypc) and added his fourth rushing score of the season.
For the fourth straight game, redshirt freshman quarterbacks Ryan Bartels and Joe Mollberg shared reps behind center for UND. Mollberg started for the second straight game and threw a third-quarter touchdown pass to Jameer Jackson. Mollberg ranks seventh among FCS freshmen this season with 637 passing yards. Bartels is just outside the top 10 with 452 yards in his four contests, completing 29-of-49 passes. Both quarterbacks are completing 59 percent of their passes and have combined for seven touchdowns passes. Bartels and Mollberg led UND to its most points of the Division I era in the 69-10 victory over Valpo in the season opener on Aug. 29.
MAGIC CARPET RIDE
• UND is 67-16 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 21-11 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.
Senior Greg Hardin and sophomore Kenny Golladay have the UND kickoff and punt return teams ranked near the top of the Big Sky standings through four games. Hardin is averaging 25.6 yards per kickoff return, which is second best in the league and 30th overall in the FCS. He had a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. Valparaiso and added a career-high 194 yards in kickoff returns vs. Montana State. Hardin leads the Big Sky and is third in the FCS in all-purpose yards, averaging 220.5 per contest. Golladay is averaging a league-best 14.2 yards per punt return and had a 64-yard touchdown also in the season opener. UND is the only team averaging for than double-figures on each punt return. The 64-yard return by Golladay is the longest in the Big Sky this season.
MILLER ON MITCHELL AWARD WATCH LIST
Senior Zeb Miller was one of 26 placekickers throughout all levels of college football to be honored for his performance both on and off the field during the month of September. Miller, who went 3-for-5 on field goals and 17-for-18 on PATs duirng the month, is a candidate for the Fred Mitchell Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top place-kicker based on performance on the field and in the community.
After sitting out the opener vs. Valparaiso, sophomore Jameer Jackson has shown no signs of rust in his first three games back. Jackson equaled his career-high with nine catches against Montana (86 yards) and caught six passes for 60 yards and also added a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the South Dakota State game. Against Montana State, Jackson rushed seven times for 43 yards, caught three passes for 24 yards and hauled in his first receiving touchdown of the season. Jackson was a Jerry Rice Award finalist in 2012 after finishing with a pair of 100-yard receiving games and two multiple-touchdown games.
LEE BOHNET HONORED
Longtime UND sports information director Lee Bohnet had the press box at the Alerus Center named after him in a special ceremony held Saturday morning at the current home of UND football. Bohnet, who passed away in 1999 after a long illness, became the first sports information director (SID) in UND history after he was hired by athletic director Glenn “Red” Jarrett in 1953. A World War II veteran, Bohnet worked in the SID role for 35 years until his retirement in 1988. Known for his in-depth researching and undaunted loyalty to the Fighting Sioux, Bohnet is a member of the UND Athletics, College Sports Information Directors of America and North Central Conference Hall of Fames. He wrote the book “A Century of UND Sports”, which chronicled the history of the athletic department’s first 100 years of existence and found no greater joy than when UND defeated its fiercest rivals on the gridiron, court or ice. Bohnet was also the co-creator of the Potato Bowl USA game that has been annual affair for UND since 1966. He will have a plaque placed in the Alerus Center press box to celebrate his legacy as one of the best SIDs in the history of college athletics.
GROUNDBREAKING FOR UND ATHLETICS HIGH PERFORMANCE CENTER
A groundbreaking ceremony for the UND Athletics High Performance Center was held 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.
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).
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.
ADAMS MAKES UND DEBUT
Offensive lineman Dustin Adams made his UND debut against Montana in a reserve role on the offensive line. Adams, a Minot, N.D., native, transferred to UND from Northern Illinois after redshirting with a knee injury last season.
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 and had to have another minor procedue done to his knee in late August.
FOUR TRUE FRESHMEN SEE ACTION
Three true freshmen made their collegiate debuts in the season-opening win over Valparaiso and four total have played in the first two games. 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 made a solo tackle in his first collegiate action vs. SDSU and added four in the loss to Montana. Kuksa finished with eight total tackles against Montana state, including five solo stops.
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. So far in 2013, that trend has continued. UND has thrown 130 passes through four games, which averages out to 32.5 pass attempts per game. At that rate, UND quarterbacks would attempt 358 passes in 2013.
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)
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.