Post-Eastern Washington Thoughts

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.



12 Responses

  1. duswede

    Does UND currently have any BigSky caliber athletes in their defensive back four? I didnt see any out there on Saturday.

    1. Coming into the season that was the most glaring weakness on the team. We thought they would be playing better than they are. Specifically, Daryl Brown needs to step up and play much better than he has. He has all the tools to be a good one.

    2. 28noel60

      It is more than just the secondary. There defensive line and linebackers are just ok not great athletes. To get to next level a top 10 team in the nation for long haul they have to get the best athletes on defense. NDSU is there now that is why they have a national title in such a short time. Would be interesting to see what UND is spending budget wise to get there compared to NDSU which is a football school first. UND is not and it shows not just talent wise but in attendance at games also. They show up when they win otherwise not so much.

      1. homer

        Don’t forget that even ndsu went 6-5 and 3-8 their first couple years out of transition. They had questions at qb, wr, lb and secondary during those years. They used JUCO to fill some of those spots and had a great recruiting class (which is now JR’s) for them to fill most of those other holes. UND has to continue to get better with every recruiting class. I think a true breakaway RB should be a must this class and they have to get a can’t miss safety, either a JUCO or someone who can step in immediately and play. Also, if we stick with th 3-4, we need to get better up front.

        1. firg voss reporting

          very well put homer…the sky isn’t falling but we need to get the “chest bump” recruits and when the come here they need to play like “chest bump” recruits…

      2. geaux_sioux

        We do have good athletes on defense. The LBs are bery athletic, they’re just playing very slow this year. We have athletic DB’s who are too aggressive on short routes and get burned deep. Mersereau is a great athlete, he’s just soft and can’t tackle. The LB’s need to step up and play faster and get to the QB, our defensive scheme doesn’t work without that.

        1. 28noel60

          They play slow this year because compared to athletes they compete against they are very slow. When your D is giving up over 40 points per game in last 4 there are no silver linings. Schemes in football can work for you hiding slower talent on the offensive side. On defensive side they bury you.

          1. geaux_sioux

            They didn’t play slow last year against Fresno, in fact they played a great game. Fresno had great athletes on their offense. It’s not the level of competition.

  2. Sioux46

    1) Lack of focus on defense and offense. Receivers dropping passes etc.
    2) Desire, heart. These guys seem to rely on their athleticisim only. Give me overachievers like Shannon Burnell and Mike Mooney. Those guys played above and beyond. Great heart!
    3) Not too long ago, 2006, still a div II team, we went down to #3 ranked FCS Northern Iowa and beat them with players like Ryan Chappell and Brady Trenbeath. That was our best FCS win yet.

  3. Tom

    We have played good teams the last 4 years and this year and not look anywhere near as bad for the whole game like last week. I would like to think that it was just one of those games that can happen where nothing goes right. I am hoping we are better than that. Even against Cal Poly our defense showed up for half the game.

    1. 28noel60

      Look Eastern Washington is just better. They are only a year removed from winning the national championship. Cal Poly was just one of those games where it was back and forth than they seized control and everything turned there way. UND has done this to many teams when they were in D2. Two good recruiting classes that turn out to better than just good and they are ready to contend for it all.

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