Post-Sacramento State Thoughts

UND went out to California for the second week in a row but this time came back with a victory over Sacramento State.  It was UND’s first ever Big Sky Football Conference win.  UND took it to Sacramento State in the second half and ended up with a convincing 35-13 win.  Sacramento State fell to 2-2 on the season while UND improved to 3-1 and now comes home to take on #23 ranked Cal-Poly, a team that they have had very entertaining games with the past few years.

  •  Defensively UND played better overall this week.  The tackling was better but still has room for improvement.  The secondary played a much more complete game, intercepting two passes and coming up and tackling the short passing game of Sac State very well.  They played the ball in the air better than we have seen all season.
  • Run defense is still a major issue that needs to be cleaned up.  Run D was a strength of UND last season but this season has been a major weakness.  Sac State ended the game with 255 rushing yards on 42 carries, which is way too many for a team with their spread system.  The defense did clamp down in the second half though, only allowing 86 total yards up until that garbage TD on the tipped pass at the end with 46 seconds left.
  • Telling Stat #1 – UND forced 5 turnovers in the game (2 INT, 1 FR, 2 turnover-on-downs).  UND only had 1 turnover themselves which equals a +4 in turnover margin.
  • Telling Stat #2 – UND defense held Sac State to 5-12 on third down and 0-2 on 4th down.
  • Weird Stat #1 – Sac State ran 82 plays and their time of possession was 29 minutes.  UND ran 66 plays and their time of possession was 31 minutes.
  • Clordion Kennedy’s undercut of the route for an interception was a thing of beauty.  Played perfectly.  He is really fitting in nicely for UND.
  • The UND defensive line had 3 batted balls at the line of scrimmage.  Always helps the pass defense when they can mix a few of those in.
  • If UND can shore up the interior of their run defense they will continue to win football games.  Sac State found a play that worked and hit it over and over, much like San Diego State did.
  • Punter Brett Cameron had a career day.  He punted 5 times for a 47 yard average, putting three of them inside the 20 yard line.  For his outstanding effort he was named the CFPA National Punter of the Week.  Don’t underestimate his contribution to the UND defense being able to hold Sac State to only 7 points for the majority of the game.
  • Have to cut down on stupid penalties.  The illegal formation penalty on punt team cost UND 20 yards of field position at a critical time in a tight game.  Instead of having the Hornets pinned at the 12 yard line after Cameron’s 1st punt, Sac St. got the ball at the 32 yard line after the penalty and 2nd punt.  Those mistakes will catch up to a team eventually.
  • GAME BALL:  The offensive line went into road-grading mode in the 2nd half and totally took control of the game.  This was the best we had seen the run game operate this year.  O-line pass protection was much better as well.  Great job by the ‘Hogs’.
  • Mitch Sutton ran like a man possessed between the tackles.  His running style is a much-needed change-up compared to the other ‘slashing’ running backs UND has.  Sutton is a between-the-tackles, downhill, one-cut runner with some pretty decent top-end speed.
  • We give Marcus Hendrickson a ‘C’ for his play on Saturday night.  He missed too many open WRs  and at times had happy feet in the pocket and made a very ill-advised throw to Kenny Golladay on the interception over the middle on a post route.  However, he saved UND on numerous occasions with his athleticism by scrambling for 1st downs.  We knew he wouldn’t be able to keep up the pace he had set against Portland State and SDSU, but we think he is still very capable of playing QB in the Big Sky.
  • Jameer Jackson had a very nice game and made a highlight reel catch on a fade route in the end zone.  Jackson is showing better athleticism and route-running that we expected from a 6′-3″ – 240 pound kid.  He had 2 TDs on the night.
  • Kenny Golladay has GOT to see more balls in the UND offense – especially in the red zone.  After his solid game against Portland State in week 2, we have seen him fade the last 2 weeks as far as his involvement in the offense is concerned.
  • One trend that we are concerned about is the pass protection by the RBs.  Even when they are picking up their assignments correctly in pass pro, they aren’t executing like they need to and sustaining their blocks.  Subsequently, they are allowing pressure to get to the QB.  This needs to get better.
  • Last thing to remember:  UND  beat this Sac St. team on the road HANDILY.  The score was 35-6 with less than a minute left in the game.  Earlier this season, this same Sac St. team beat a not-so-good Pac-12 Colorado Buffaloes team in Boulder, 30-28.  Last year, Sac St. went to Corvallis and beat Pac-12 member Oregon State.  This is an impressive win to start the Big Sky era.  Now they need to continue to improve because the meat of the schedule is coming up very soon – like starting this week.

6 Responses

  1. firv voss reporting

    one guy that needs to step up or sit down is dom bennett…he is too good to play as timid as he is playing

  2. UND9296

    Factoring in the historic nature of the game and the margin of victory over a decent team with two recent Pac-12 wins, this may have been the program’s best road win since the 2006 season.

  3. YoH0

    Oskie! ! another great assessment, we think? Don’t know cause “haven’t seen it yet”.
    Trying to get it on BigS is a joke, and “where” is the REPLAY? ? ? another joke.
    There should be “some” way BigS can verify YOUR records and simplify the getting
    these games live, or at least “replay.” Anyway thanks in advance for any help you
    can give us, am sure we are NOT alone.

      1. YoH0

        Oskie thanks for response, Yes, been nightmare getting on
        Big Sky for any game. We give them our “correct” address,
        etc. and “they” say ERROR! ! ! What is do they want? think
        we know what our correct email address. Anyone else have
        similar problems?
        Last year REPLAYS on UND Insider, soon or next day. Where
        is the Sac game? Anyway though our membership was going
        to provide for replays, if not why bother?

        1. Sounds like your login got hosed, somehow. Ours worked OK and we were able to watch it. Other than the 13 year old they had running the camera everything was fine. How hard is it to zoom out and show the whole field? The majority of the game we could not see the wide receivers.

          I would just sign up again with a different email address and it should work fine.

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