The Game Vitals
Opponent - Northern Colorado at Nottingham Field, Greeley, CO
Game Notes - UND
TV - None
Online Streaming - Big Sky TV
Spread - Northern Colorado -4 O/U 39.5
Northern Colorado Breakdown (3-7 record)
– Offense = Spread-Pistol/Gun, 3 WR’s.
– Defense = 4-3
– Last Meeting: 2013 – UND beat Northern Colorado 24-21 in Grand Forks.
The Northern Colorado Bears come into this game off a loss to Weber State in Ogden by a score of 34-21. UNC has also beaten Northern Arizona, another similarity to UND. Sitting at 3-7, UNC has been in a few games this year but haven’t been able to finish them off.
Offensively, the Bears run the typical Big Sky spread offense with the QB in shotgun/pistol most of the time. They are averaging 20 pts/game and 342 yards on offense, good for 12th in the Big Sky. UND is 13th in scoring offense and total offense. UNC only averages 117 yards/game on the ground with the remaining 225 coming through the air. They are not a dynamic offense by any means but try to stay alive by moving the sticks and then taking their shots when available.
QB #15 Sean Rubalcaba has been at the helm most of the season for the Bears. The 6’2″-190 sophomore is 142-207 for 1,724 yards and 10 TDs. Rubalcaba is also a threat to run the ball in UNC’s spread offense as he has run for 323 yards and 3 TD’s this season.
The guy UND needs to worry about on Saturday is WR #3 Dimitri Stimphil. Stimphil, 5’10″-180, has 51 receptions for 713 yards and 5 TD’s. He is a very quick, threat to score type of receiver every time he touches the ball. UND best watch how UNC is aligning him as he can create major mismatches if lined up across from safeties.
The UNC defense has been an average unit this season, averaging 30 pts/game allowed. What they are good at is intercepting the ball. They have 17 interceptions on the year, which is good for 4th nationally. Due to those INT’s, UNC is an impressive +10 in turnover margin. On the flip side, UND is -4 on the season. Thankfully, UND is not a passing team so that interception ability should not a big factor on Saturday.
North Dakota (4-7) Keys to the Game
- UND Defensive Front Seven – GATA. UNC has given up an unbelievable 45 sacks this year. Yes, 45. UND’s defense is second in the Big Sky with 30 sacks. Ratchet up the pressure once again this week and get 5-7 sacks. The word is NG Jordan Hinojosa and possibly CB Chris Carter are going to be back this week. That will be a big boost to UND’s defense.
- Give it Give it Give it to Garman. Jer Garman is on fire at RB for UND, coming off a 235 yard performance vs. NAU. He has shown great vision and great speed and is peaking at the right time of the year. UNC is 11th in the Big Sky in rushing defense. Run the ball. Alot.
- We called for UND’s special teams/defense to setup the offense with a short field and they responded last week. Do it again, please. The offense flourished last week partly due to not having to drive 80 yards every possession.
UND needs to build off last week’s win over NAU and at the same time get their first road win of the season. UND has not looked good on the road this year. In fact, they have looked terrible at times. Winning this game on the road can springboard UND into winter workouts/recruiting on a high note and get them to a 5-7 record on the season.
North Dakota 22
Northern Colorado 20