The Sioux defense is taking on a Vandals Offense that averaged 33 pts/game last year and returns 4 starters, including QB Nathan Enderle who we touched on earlier.Â They run a standard pro offense with a nice mix of run and pass.Â They would prefer to get the power running game going with that monster OL of theirs and then take shots deep to their tall receivers, Greenwood and A. Johnson.Â They are a vertical passing team meaning they love to stretch the field with long deep passes.Â
Our keys to success for the UND Defense:
- Have some success early against the Vandal running game.Â There is now way to shut it down completely but to have success early in stopping their power/counter game will free up the ability to do other things. A 3-4 defense never shuts down a run game completely but is built to bend but not break over the course of a drive. Â If the Vandals drop the plow and run crazy the Sioux are in trouble.Â That will force the Sioux to bring a safety up and also commit their OLBâ€™s to the run which will reduce the pressure when the Vandals pass.Â Â Â
- Defend the long ball early.Â The Sioux have been very susceptible to the big play the last few years.Â They must show they can defend the fades and posts early and make the Vandals throw short stuff they can react up to.
- Get the blitz going with the speedier LBâ€™s that the Sioux have this year.Â Idaho will 5 step drop and give you time to get after their QB.Â They need time to develop those long pass routes that they like to run.Â This is where we feel the Sioux can have success on defense.Â The Vandals OL only returns 1 starter and the other four are massive OL which tells us they are going to be a bit slow with the footwork.Â In a preseason scrimmage they gave up some ungodly amount of sacks to their defense.Â When adding all this up we feel that the Sioux are going to have plenty of chances to get after Enderle.Â If they can get after him and show the Vandal OC that they arenâ€™t going to be able to drop back and sit there for 4-5 seconds then the Sioux will haveÂ a major chance of pulling this upset.Â
Our prediction:Â While Idaho comes into 2010 with an impressive 2009 resume, it is not the same team as last year as far as personnel is concerned.Â This is a winnable game for UND and every player and coach in that locker room is going to Moscow to win.Â UND needs to control the tempo and take the crowd out of the game early.
UND – 27
Idaho – 25
Idaho misses a game-winning FG opportunity at the end.