UND went out to Cheney, WA on Saturday and got beat 55-17. UND fans are left with more questions than answers after that game, as are we. The #7 ranked Eagles did pretty much whatever they wanted on offense after going 3-and-out on their very first possession. The UND offense started out great with a long TD drive to go up 7-0 but slowly fizzled out after that and never really had any consistency.
The loss leaves UND at 3-3 on the year. They now have back-to-back home games vs. #21 Northern Arizona and Montana (who will probably be in the #23-25 range this week). To say these are must wins is an understatement but UND will be the underdog in both of them.
- First off, lets all hope LB Derrick Goard is OK after having to leave the field on a stretcher. We do not know what happened exactly but he did have movement in his legs and arms so we are hoping for the best. He has been a nice addition to the UND defense out of College of Dupage (IL). UND needs all the depth they can get on defense.
- Eastern Washington rushed for 290 yards on Saturday. They came into the game averaging 140 yds/game. UND getting run on is obviously a trend, not a mirage. Every team they have played has ran for huge numbers. We cannot figure out how a strength could turn into such a massive weakness in one year.
- EWU has some serious offensive weapons. That toe-tap by Kaufman on the third TD of the game was stuff that you see on Sundays, which is where he is going to end up.
- Overall, the defensive effort was poor. There were too many defensive lapses in the game to pinpoint so we won’t even try. What bothered us the most seemed to be the overall demeanor of the defense. Something is missing this year that was there in years past. We don’t know if its leadership or what but somebody needs to step up and take charge because the lack of heart and effort in the 2nd half by the players was unacceptable. The coaches can only put these guys in a spot to make the play – it’s up to them to execute it.
- Everyone must remember how it works the first few years in a new league. Usually a program will struggle out of the transition/into a new league because they are playing all new teams and the coaches know nothing about them other than what they see on tape. UND is struggling mightily vs. these upper-level Big Sky teams and really it should not be a surprise to anyone. We as fans all hoped that they would make a run but that was probably unrealistic based on other programs history of coming out of the transition. It is quite apparent that UND needs better players at many positions to be able to hang with teams like EWU and the Montana’s.
- Offensively, UND went with a platoon effort at the QB position. It’s very apparent that Braden Hanson is the better throwing QB. He just seems to understand the offense and read defenses better. It will be interesting to see who gets the start this week. In our opinion, Braden deserves the start this week.
- Offensive line play needs to be better – period.
- We don’t understand how the UND WRs continue to drop passes and don’t think we can ever remember so many drops in one season by a WR corps – much less one this talented. They are completely letting down their QBs and the offense when the ball is put in catchable spots and they continue to make drops. A lot of these have been drive-killers. We expect more from this talented group. Time for them to start playing up to and beyond their capability.