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Courtesy: Kelly Gorham, Montana State
Junior Brady Oliveira has back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against Montana State.
Game Notes: Bobcats up next in Big Sky opener
Courtesy: UNDsports.com
Release: 09/19/2017
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The Fighting Hawks open their final Big Sky slate against border rival Montana State. This will be the fourth time that the Bobcats have served as UND’s league opener since the Fighting Hawks became a member prior to the 2012 season. Kickoff for UND’s annual Military Appreciation Game is set for 2:30 p.m. CT at the Alerus Center.

Montana State won the first two of those matchups before the Fighting Hawks went to Bozeman for last season’s opener and held on for a 17-15 win at Bobcat Stadium. It was UND’s first win on the Bobcats’ home turf since the 1982 season.

THE BLITZ
• UND remained ranked in both the FCS STATS and FCS Coaches polls after its 45-7 setback to No. 23 South Dakota this past Saturday. The Fighting Hawks fell seven spots in the STATS’ poll to No. 17 and nine spots in the coaches’ poll to No. 19. The Coyotes moved up to No. 13 and No. 14, respectively.
• The Fighting Hawks’ two losses to ranked opponents this season are by a combined 59 points (also 37-16 to No. 25 Utah in season opener). Last season, UND lost just three times by a combined total of eight points.
• This marks the second-straight season, UND went 1-2 in non-conference play.
• With the 34-0 blanking of Missouri State in the 52nd annual Potato Bowl, UND improved to 82-22 in the Alerus Center. The Fighting Hawks have also won nine straight regular-season games on their home turf dating back to the 2015 season (37-31 loss to Idaho State on Oct. 10).
• UND also improved to 10-0 in home openers during the Division I era with the victory over the Bears two weeks ago. That moved UND’s current home-opening winning streak to 31 games with the last loss coming in 1986.
• Senior quarterback Keaton Studsrud established a new career-high with 22 completions and sophomore wide receiver Noah Wanzek registered the first 100-yard receiving game of his career. He finished with personal bests in receptions (7), receiving yards (117) and touchdowns (2). Wanzek also added a 42-yard reception, which was a career-long.

BACK TO BIG SKY PLAY
UND brings an 11-game Big Sky winning streak into the Alerus Center after winning all eight to share the 2016 league title and the last three league games of the 2015 campaign that saw the team finish 7-4 overall and 5-3 in Big Sky action.

Here’s a look at the 11-game Big Sky winning streak:

1. Montana State (44-38; Oct. 31, 2015)
2. Northern Colorado (45-14; Nov. 14, 2015)
3. at Cal Poly (45-21; Nov. 21, 2015)
4. Montana State (17-15; Sept. 24, 2016)
5. Cal Poly (31-24; Oct. 1, 2016)
6. at Sacramento State (40-7; Oct. 8, 2016)
7. Southern Utah (45-23; Oct. 15, 2016)
8. at Idaho State (28-21; Oct. 22, 2016)
9. Weber State (27-19; Oct. 29, 2016)
10. at Northern Colorado (23-13; Nov. 5, 2016)
11. Northern Arizona (38-31; Nov. 12, 2016)

The 11-game conference winning streak is tied for fifth best currently in the FCS along with James Madison (Colonial) and Grambling (Southwestern). Jacksonville State owns the best streak at 24-straight in Ohio Valley Conference game. 

LAST TIME OUT: (23/23) SOUTH DAKOTA 45, (10/10) UND 7
North Dakota could never latch on to any momentum at the DakotaDome last Saturday, while South Dakota turned in a dominant performance to post a 45-7 victory over the Fighting Hawks.

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

WHAT’S NEXT?
UND will travel to the Golden State for its first Big Sky road test of the season next Saturday. The Fighting Hawks will take on UC Davis and the Aggies’ new head coach Dan Hawkins. Hawkins returned to his alma mater after most notably serving as the head coach at Boise State (2001-05) and Colorado (2006-10). Kickoff with the Aggies is set for 8 p.m. CT and the game will air on the Big Sky’s new etelevision partner Eleven Sports Network and also be streamed on Pluto TV.

YAHTZEE: 22 GOES FOR 222
Junior John Santiago racked up 222 all-purpose yards in the 45-7 loss at South Dakota a week ago to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau for his career. Santiago’s 4,205 all-purpose yards are fifth on UND’s all-time charts, fifth-most among current FCS players and most among current juniors. A majority of those yards have come on the ground, where the Fighting Hawks’ captain has accumulated 2,600 yards and is averaging exactly 100.0 ypg in 26 career contests. He is one of just six Big Sky players to be named to the all-league first team as both a freshman and sophomore.

MOOSE GETS LOOSE AGAINST BOBCATS
In two career games against Montana State,  junior running back Brady Oliveira has rushed for 338 yards and three touchdowns. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native is averaging 9.9 ypc and has two of his six career 100-yard rushing games against the Bobcats. As a freshman, Oliveira rushed for a career-high 171 yards in a 44-38 win over MSU and he added 167 yards and a 60-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown in last year’s 17-15 win in Bozeman.

TRIO OF TACKLING MACHINES
Senior captains Jake Disterhaupt and Cole Reyes each recorded double-digit tackles along with redshirt freshman Jake Rastas last Saturday at South Dakota. For Disterhaupt, who made a game-high 13 stops, it was the second time this season he reached that plateau (career-high 14 vs. Utah). Reyes finished with a season-high 10 tackles to register the fifth double-digit tackling game of his career. Rastas added 11 stops in what was just his second collegiate game and first career start.

-- UND --

2017 Football

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