After collecting only five interceptions in team drills through the opening eight practices, the black shirts managed seven in 30 minutes of 11-on-11 work today.
"I thought the defense did a great job," UND head coach Chris Mussman said. "We added some for the first time and made things tougher on the young quarterbacks. They forced some turnovers and made some big hits and the got the energy going on that side of the ball. It was nice to see."
Only the last two periods were live as the offense worked exclusive on third down situations going into the end zone from 30-yard line. Junior Baylee Carr and sophomore William James had interceptions during the last 10 minutes, while linebacker Brian Otto and safety Javen Butler provided big hits for the defense.
The offense did manage its share of first downs as sophomore Jameer Jackson and redshirt freshman Tanner Vesledahl both took big hits, but held onto the ball and netted first-down yardage.
- Sophomore Rumeal Harris was back at practice after missing the last three pratices and announced his presence by picking off three passes during the first 10 mintues of 11-on-11 work.
- Linebackers Derrick Goard and Garrett Reineke also got into the interception mix with picks during the second team session.
- Sophomore wide receiver Kenny Golladay made one of his customary highlight-reel catches during one-on-one work early in the practice. He made a nice adjustment on an overthrown ball, snagging it with just one hand and pulling it into his body.
- Dan Hammer and Darren Lien of MidCo Sports Network were at the practice collecting footage and interviewing coaches and players for a special feature that will run on April 30.
- Former UND placekicker Errol Mann passed away late last week and was on the minds of many of the coaches during the practice. He is the only former UND player to win a Super Bowl ring (1977 Oakland Raiders).