Grand Forks, N.D. - The North Dakota football team gave its new head coach an extended look at how they played in game-like situations on Saturday as the Green and White held its annual Spring Game at the Alerus Center.
With only about 60 healthy bodies to play, the format took on more of a situational scrimmage, then a true game, but head coach Bubba Schweigert was happy to see how his team performed in front of what turned out to be a crowd hovering around 1,100 fans in their home building.
"I had fun today watching our guys go live," UND head coach Bubba Schweigert said. "I thought our offense took a step forward running the ball and in the passing game. It was good to see us convert some third downs.
"Defensively, I thought we played much better during the second half of the scrimmage. We tackled better and played more aggressively. Early in the game, we needed to play on our toes instead of our heels. You need to play this defense with a lot of emotion, so I was a little disappointed in that, but I felt as the scrimmage went along we got better."
No score was kept as the offense - dressed in white jerseys - squared off solely against the defense - dawning the home green jerseys.
The first two drives started at the 20-yard line with the offense working on red zone plays. Sophomore Ryan Bartels engineered the first drive and after being sacked on the first play by junior Dayo Idowu, went 3-for-4 for 26 yards.
He capped the possession with a 5-yard touchdown strike to junior Casey Young after keeping the drive alive with a 13-yard pass to tight end Zach Adler on a 3rd-and-12.
Bartels finished the scrimmage 5-for-8 for 50 yards to lead the signal callers in passing yardage.
Redshirt freshman Kurt Palandech took the helm for the next red zone possession, but could not net a first down as the offense settled for a 32-yard field goal by sophomore Mitch Meindel, who was the team's first string punter last season and the only kicker in spring drills.
Palandech would lead the longest touchdown drive of the day for the offense, guiding his White teammates 65 yards on a nine plays. Senior Adam Shaugabay found the end zone from 1-yard out after Palandech went 3-for-5 on the drive for 33 yards. He found classmate Aeron Carr for a 13-yard gain that was nearly a touchdown before he was ruled down at the half-yard line.
Palandech finished 4-for-8 on the day with all his passing yards (33) coming on that long drive.
Carr led all receivers with three catches and finished with 20 yards receiving, while his namesake Stetson Carr had the most receiving yards with 25 on two grabs.
The latter Carr transferred to UND at mid-semester from the University of Mary and just started playing wide receiver in the final week of spring practices. He had gone through the first 11 practices at quarterback. He will have to sit out the fall due to NCAA transfer rules.
Stetson is the younger brother of safety Baylee Carr, who had three tackles during the scrimmage.
Defensive back Maverick Edmunds led all defenders with seven tackles. He also had one of five sacks by the defense. Idowu finished with two sacks, while new defensive tackle Shea Walker had a sack, tackle for loss and another solo stop in his first full action on that side of the ball.
Sophomore Joe Mollberg, who started seven games a season ago, led two drives and finished 3-for-4 for 21 yards through the air and also had a four-yard carry for a first down. He also made a nice throw to redshirt freshman Zack Selland on his second drive that converted a 3rd-and-nine. Selland had two grabs in the scrimmage for 15 yards.
Shaugabay had a pair of 1-yard rushing scores during the 55-play scrimmage to pace the running backs. He finished with four carries for eight yards. Redshirt freshman Patrick Sharp toted the rock the most among the four running backs, netting 13 yards on seven carries.
Ryan Bartels (5-for-8, 50 yards, 1 TD)
Joe Mollberg (3-for-4, 21 yards)
Kurt Palandech (4-for-8, 33 yards)
Jake Hanson (3-for-4, 29 yards)
Patrick Sharp (7 rushes for 13 yards)
Adam Shaugabay (4 rushes for 8 yards, 2 TDs)
P.J. Sparks (3 rushes for 8 yards, 1 rec. for 4 yards)
Jer Garman (3 rushes for 13 yards)
Aeron Carr (3 rec. for 20 yards)
Dustin Iverson (2 rec. for 23 yards)
Tyrhe Ivery (2 rec. for 24 yards)
Stetson Carr (2 rec. for 25 yards)
Zack Selland (2 rec. for 15 yards)
Zach Adler (1 rec. for 13 yards)
Defense (total, solo, asst, sacks)
Maverick Edmunds (7 tackles, 4 solo, 2 asst, 1 sack)
Kyle Norberg (4 tackles, 3 solo, 1 asst)
Will Ratelle (4 tackles, 2 solo, 2 asst)
Shea Walker (3 tackles, 2 solo (1 TFL), 1 sack)
Dayo Idowu (3 tackles, 1 asst, 2 sacks)
Baylee Carr (3 tackles, 2 solo, 1 asst)
William James (2 tackles, 1 solo, 1 asst)
Ben Peters (2 tackles, 1 solo, 1 asst)
Alec Carrothers (1 tackles (TFL)
D.J. Beard (1 sack)
Will Lyons (3 tackles, 2 solo, 1 asst)
Devin Coyle (3 tackles, 2 solo, 1 asst)
Javen Butler (2 tackles, 2 asst)
Spencer Cummings (1 tackle, 1 solo)
Nick Schmitz (1 tackle, 1 solo, 1 sack)
Jake McElroy (1 tackle, 1 asst)
Garret Reineke (1 tackle, 1 asst)
Cole Reyes (1 tackle, 1 solo)
Chris Brown (1 pass break-up)
Taj Rich (1 pass break-up)
-- UND --