GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- UND’s campus is celebrating its 101st Homecoming with week-long festivities and those culminate with the program’s 99th Homecoming Game against Northern Colorado on Saturday. Kickoff against the Bears is set for 2:30 p.m. CT.
Both teams arrive at the Alerus Center coming off Big Sky road losses. UND (1-4, 0-2 BSC) dropped a 48-24 contest at UC Davis, while the Bears (2-2, 1-1 BSC) were dealt a 48-20 loss at Northern Arizona this past Saturday.
The Fighting Hawks have dropped three straight overall and are looking to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 2013, which was the season before head coach Bubba Schweigert took over the program.
• UND owns a 16-12 mark in the all-time series with the Bears and has won four straight over UNC. That winning streak is the longest by either team in a series that dates back to 1980 when both were members of the North Central Conference.
• Schweigert’s 3-0 mark against UNC is the best record vs. any of the 39 different opponents he has faced during his coaching career.
• UND owns a 63-31-4 all-time record in Homecoming contests thanks to a 45-23 victory over Southern Utah in the 2016 affair on Oct. 15.
• The 45 points were the most scored in a Homecoming game by UND at the Division I level and in the Alerus Center. The output was the most in a Homecoming Game since a 54-6 victory over Augustana in the last one played at Memorial Stadium in 2000.
• The victory over the Thunderbirds improved UND’s record to 9-7 in Homecoming contests since moving into the Alerus Center in 2001.
LAST TIME OUT: UC DAVIS 48, UND 24
UC Davis jumped out to a 38-17 lead at halftime and went on to post a 48-24 victory as the Aggies moved to 1-1 in Big Sky play and UND fell to 0-2. Juniors John Santiago (170) and Brady Oliveira (107) surpassed the century mark on the ground as UND finished with a season-high 294 rushing yards.
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
TV: Midco Sports Network
UND Radio: 96.1 FM (Grand Forks)
Live Video Stream: Pluto.TV (Channel 240)
Live Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com and UND Sports Mobile
Live Stats: www.UNDSports.com
UND takes to the road for a Big Sky showdown at Montana that will be televised on ROOT Sports. The Grizzlies and Fighting Hawks will kickoff at 3 p.m. CT from Washington-Grizzly Stadium, which is the largest venue in the league.
With 12,342 on hand to watch the Montana State game (Sept. 23), the Fighting Hawks drew crowds of 12,000-plus in back-to-back games for the first time since the Alerus Center opened in 2001. That attendance figure also marked the first sellout since the 2009 season opener against South Dakota (12,431). Back in the inaugural season of UND’s indoor stadium, the NDSU game drew a single-game attendance record of 13,500 (Oct. 6) that still stands and two weeks later, 12,580 watched the UND-Omaha game (Oct. 20).
HONORARY GAME CAPTAIN IS NEWEST HALL OF FAMER
It’s been a busy week on the UND campus as the 2017 UND Athletics Hall of Fame Class was also enshrined during a special ceremony Friday evening at the Alerus Center. Former wide receiver Tracy Martin (1984-86) was among four former athletes inducted in this year’s class. That quartet, which also included Mary Dempster (Volleyball; 1976-77), Robert Fransen (Track and Field; 1973-77) and Steve Johnson (Ice Hockey; 1984-88), was joined by the 1992 women’s cross country team. Erin Herman, a 1984 graduate of UND, was honored with the Thomas J. Clifford Award and Mark and Marlys Brown were given the Honorary Letterwinner Award.
Martin graduated as UND’s career leader in regular-season touchdown receptions with 19 (since broken) and at the time of his graduation ranked second in regular-season receiving yards (1,754) and all-purpose yards (3,534) in UND history. He caught a school-record 69 passes in 1986 (since broken) and also set single-season school records for all-purpose yards (1,708) that same season (since broken). He was the first player in UND history to catch three TD passes in a single game. Martin was named a first-team All-NCC selection as a senior.
GROUND GAME FINDS AN OLD GEAR
After being held to 204 total rushing yards in losses at South Dakota and to Montana State in the Big Sky opener, UND’s ground game churned out a season-high 294 yards at UC Davis this past Saturday. The junior tandem of John Santiago and Brady Oliveira combined for 278 of those as both running backs eclipsed the century mark. It marked the second time both players reached that plateau in the same game (vs. Montana State; 2015).
For Santiago, it was his first 100-yard effort of the season and 14th of his career as he went for 170 yards on 13 carries, including an 81-yard touchdown scamper on UND’s second play from scrimmage. Oliveira turned his 13 carries into 107 yards for his second 100-yard game of the season.
Santiago’s 81-yard touchdown run matched his career long set against Northern Colorado during his freshman season. He piled up 180 yards on the ground against the Bears in that contest and had 204 against UNC in a 23-13 win in Greeley last season. In two career games against UNC, Santiago is averaging 192.0 rushing yards per game and 12.4 yards per carry.
PINKE FINDS END ZONE ON FIRST CAREER CATCH
Tight end Hunter Pinke made his first career start for the injured Luke Fiedler and the Wishek, N.D., native scored a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter on his first career catch. Pinke’s yardage on the scoring grab matched his jersey number as he found pay dirt from 36 yards out.
STEWART SOLID IN PLACE OF REYES
JUCO-transfer Tamas Stewart also made his first career start against the Aggies, filling in for injured All-American Cole Reyes. He played a majority of the Montana State game as well for Reyes and has registered 10 tackles in back-to-back games. He played at UC Davis in front of several family and friends as the Rialto native was back in his native California for the tilt. Stewart was one of four Fighting Hawks to net double-figure tackles in the contest. Redshirt freshman Jake Rastas led the way with a career-high 13 tackles, while senior captain Jake Disterhaupt and true freshman Hayden Blubaugh also had 10 tackles a piece.
Senior Jake Disterhaupt made the move to inside linebacker before the start of the season and the captain seems to be adjusting well to his new role. The former outside backer has four double-digit tackle performances to his credit and is coming off his third-straight game reaching that plateau after netting 10 against UC Davis (Sept. 30). He leads the team with 51 total tackles and also added a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown in the loss to Montana State (Sept. 23). The interception was the second for Disterhaupt and the fifth pick six by a UND defender in the past 15 games.
This week’s injury report features 11 names that have started multiple games in their careers or were counted on to be in the 2017 two-deep entering the campaign. Defensive backs Deion Harris and Andre Randolph were both lost for the season before it even started, while sophomore linebacker Donnell Rodgers (Missouri State; Sept. 23), senior wide receiver Josh Seibel (fall camp), junior wide receiver Luke Stanley (preseason) and junior offensive lineman Demon Taylor (Missouri State; Sept. 9) are all out indefinitely. Six more are considered questionable for this Saturday’s game against Northern Colorado and five of them all have at least one start under their belts in 2017 (cornerback Evan Holm; 3, linebacker Jake Disterhaupt; 5, fullback Kyle Norberg; 1, safety Cole Reyes; 4 and offensive lineman A.J. Stockwell; 3). Senior offensive lineman Mat Cox retured to action against the Aggies, while redshirt freshman linebacker Cam Hunt was taken off the injury report and could make his UND debut against the Bears.
STUCK IN NEUTRAL NO LONGER
UND’s offense had managed only six first-quarter points through four games, but junior John Santiago quickly matched that total on the Fighting Hawks’ second play from scrimmage at UC Davis. He raced 81 yards for a touchdown to equal his best career run (vs. UNC; 2015). UND finished with 10 first-quarter points against the Aggies.
SHIRTLESS IN SALT LAKE CITY
Defensive backs and Colorado natives Hayden Blubaugh and Ty Shannon both made their collegiate debuts in Salt Lake City against Utah (Aug. 31) in the season opener. Blubaugh played as a reserve cornerback and kick returner, while Shannon played some safety late in the fourth quarter.
Classmate Izzy Adeoti also made the trip, but the rookie wide receiver did not see any game action. He ended up making his collegiate debut vs. Missouri State (Sept. 9), catching one pass for seven yards and adding a five-yard rush.
That trio provided its biggest impact so far this season against UC Davis (Sept. 30). Adeoti had two catches for 19 yards, which were both season highs, while Blubaugh (10) and Shannon (4) added season-highs in tackles. Blubaugh also had the first two pass break-ups of his career against the Aggies.
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