Taking Care of Business

On Thursday night, the UND offense was as surgical, balanced and fluid as they have been in years and it showed on the scoreboard with a 66-0 win over South Dakota School of Mines.  They totaled 653 yards of total offense against an obviously overmatched Hardrocker squad, which is transitioning to the D2 level with an entirely new coaching staff.  Defensively, UND was just ok and stepped up when they needed to in order to stop some 3rd downs.  Overall, UND did what it should have done to Mines.

  • Braden Hanson is the real deal.  Hanson went 13-14 for 188 yards before being hurt.  He has the physical attributes, mental makeup and an overall skill set that we have never before been seen at UND at the QB position.  It was incredible how poised he looked in the pocket while making his reads and progressions.  Looked like he had been doing it in this offense with the same players for years.  Now he needs to get healthy.  It appears to be a broken fibula, which is non-weight bearing but can cause stability issues and is not something you want to play on – at least initially.  If there is a silver lining its that he got hurt early in the year and could be back for the Big Sky season opener in 3 weeks.
  • The offensive line play in pass protection was below average, especially given the competition.  This will need to be shored up big-time for next week’s game.  Some of that is probably to be expected a little in the first game.  Running game was obviously solid with 370 yards rushing.  Some of the pressure that Mines got was one-on-one, defensive guy vs. offensive guy.   Their guy should not beat UND’s guy.
  • The UND running back position is as deep as it has been in years.  Jake Miller was his normal self, Mitch Sutton ran the ball well and redshirt freshman PJ Sparks had his coming out party with a couple very impressive runs.  Sparks has an impressive combination of power and speed to his running style.  He showed incredible balance and vision and has a very promising future at UND.  Jer Garman did not dress for the game and Adam Shaugabay also came in at the end for some mop-up duty and did well.
  • UND’s receiving corps is scary good – period.
  • Marcus Hendrickson did pretty well in his time on the field.  He made one glaring mistake on his throw to Jameer Jackson in the end zone by not putting enough arc on his throw to give the 6-3 Jackson an opportunity to use his size advantage on the catch.  But overall, he looked better than in years past, as he should.  He will now be counted on to lead UND against Portland State next weekend in a game that could project how their season might go.
  • Defensively, UND got the shutout but started a little slow.  They held the Hardrockers to 142 yards of offense on the night, but lacked any consistent aggressiveness in playcalling.  This was probably a by-product of having no idea what the Mines offense was going to be doing all night.  Also, early in the game they got beat on a RB screen which resulted in a 3rd down conversion.  It was obvious they didn’t want to show too much on film if they didn’t need to.  We expect the defense to be much more aggressive next week against a known team and offense like Portland State, who has plenty of film out there.
  • The defensive line unit looked very good and deep.  One pleasant surprise was the play of redshirt freshman Kyle Woodsmall.
  • Corner play was pretty solid overall.  Chavon Mackey had a very nice hit in the flat on a short pass that somehow drew a flag.  Terrible call on a nice play.
  • Safety play was kind of under-the-radar.  Probably a good thing in general.
  • Linebacker play was solid overall, but had a few missed opportunities and tackles along the way.  They played very fast.  Garrison Goodman had a good game and we noticed Cordero Finley giving the Mines tackles fits on the edge with his speed rush.
  • K Zeb Miller was landing kickoffs around 2-5 yards into the end zone, which is the perfect depth.  Either the returner has to start running it out from deeper than he would like or its a touchback.
  • Kickoff coverage was outstanding again.  Those guys picked up where they left off last year.
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13 Responses to Taking Care of Business

  1. UND9296 says:

    So who’s the better option as the emergency quarterback for the next few games–Townsend or Nichols?

    • In my opinion, Townsend because of his athleticism back there. But Nichols is also an option to get you out of the game.

      It has become very apparent and abundantly clear that the staff will do anything possible to preserve the redshirts of Ryan Bartels and Joe Mollberg. I think Jake Hanson might have his shirt pulled before those 2. Maybe I am wrong.

  2. cfm says:

    They really need to work on hanging on to the ball… way too many fumbles.

    • Avatar of oskie oskie says:

      Great point, we should have added that in our blog. Nichols on the sideline got lucky the Mines player recovered out of bound. Jameer Jackson fumbled his TD into the end zone and then had to recover it. Mussman gave him a talking to coming of the field.

      Glad these things happened though. And lots of players got game reps.

    • Kent says:

      Agreed. Especially the QB-Center exchange. I remember at least 2 fumbles there, maybe more I’m forgetting. With all those hours in practice there should never be a mishandled exchange.

  3. The Man says:

    You can tell all those things from playing a bad bad NAIA tranisitioning team?

  4. homer says:

    Fritz, Oskie-
    Great recap. My number one take away from last night…..the students were outstanding and need a huge pat on the back for the atmosphere they brought to the Alerus in a game that was clearly a no doubter. Hopefully it is made known to them that they can have a huge impact on the game next week and the game itself will be much more competitive and much more fun to watch.

    • Avatar of oskie oskie says:

      Solid observation, the turnout was outstanding. If they can get anywhere near that for next week it will make a world of difference for the UND defense.

  5. geaux sioux says:

    Can somebody please turn up the volume on the intro? The Englestad folks blast it and it makes for an awesome intro, not hard to crank some music.

  6. UND Fan says:

    Can you provide any insight on Garman not playing (or dressing) against Mines?

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