Reviewing The Ugly

Montana State started the day by unveiling QB DeNarius McGhee, who was not expected to play this week because of injury, and finished by dominating UND in all facets of the game – winning 63-20 in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.  We were so wrong in our estimation and prediction of the game, but we did not expect McGhee to play.   Wouldn’t have made much of a difference but it sure didn’t help.  Having said that, we still expected better from the team on Saturday.

  • 1st Downs:  MSU 36  UND 16
  • Rushing yards:  MSU 332  UND 165
  • Total yards:  MSU 603  UND 250
  • The Bobcats punted twice.  That’s 3 punts total by Montana State and Montana in the last 2 games.
  • As a team, UND players lacked leadership, heart and pride on the field.  At some point we and most fans expect some fire out of somebody, anybody.  Everyone seemed to be going through the motions the exact same way they did vs. Montana.
  • Greg Hardin was held without a catch – unacceptable.  He was open a few occasions, but was overthrown and missed.  He needs to get the ball in all fashions, not just 45 yard bombs.  Hitches, digs, bubble screens – something to allow him to run after the catch.  The last few games he seems to be relegated to “homerun” guy and that’s it.
  • UND QBs were poor and played like freshman.  Pass protection didn’t help matters any as Ryan Bartels was sacked 4 times and was on the run many other times.  Joe Mollberg still doesn’t appear to be able to figure out his pre-snap and post-snap reads – it’s painfully obvious on the field and when he comes back to the sidelines.  The first INT by the MSU linebacker is an example.  The LB was right there dropping to the flat meaning an interior route had to be the choice.

There’s plenty more to be talked about, but we’re gonna move on.

UND travels to Pocatello, Idaho this week to take on Idaho State.  They last traveled there in 2008 and came away with a 38-35 win as a D2 transitional team.  If UND continues to play the way they have, this game will be a challenge to say the least.  ISU (2-2) is not as bad as their past couple games indicate.   Coach Mike Kramer will make them better and it is slowly appearing that way now that he has had some time to tweak the team.


17 Responses

  1. RD17

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the coaching staff. Obviously if things don’t improve substantially in the next few games Faison is going to have to go in another direction, correct?

    1. As we have stated before, we will never call for heads of a coaching staff. They have families, etc. and we would not want people calling for our heads at work. If it happens, it happens and is the reality of the profession. That being said, if things do not get better – yes, Faison will have no choice but to at least consider the situation. The next few weeks are going to be very telling. They absolutely cannot lose to Idaho State. They cannot lose to teams like Sacramento State and Northern Colorado at home. NAU on the road will be very tough and we cannot expect a win. Blowouts are completely unacceptable and cannot continue.

  2. D1 transition certainly difficult
    remember all the screaming and hollering five years ago with ndsu’s Boll
    under attack for his 3 and 8 season time will show benefit
    coaching staff in line

  3. NDSPortsFan

    I think a big issue is crowd help. Obviously not on away games… But the fans have not bought into UND Football for a long time. And it’s not just in the two years of FCS but during the transition as well. Big games and the Alerus is not even full.

    As much as we don’t like to talk about our neighbors to the south, during their 3/8 season they still averaged 11,000 fans. We aren’t getting that on big conference games.

    1. bisonguy

      The 3/8 season, I remember the Bison were in most every game. They only needed a little better QB play, which they got the next few years.

  4. Siouxperfan7

    I don’t necessarily want to call for anyone’s head either but nature of the business is if you can’t win (or even be close in games) something has got to change. Thanks for mentioning the fire. I didn’t see ANY player (or coach for that matter) show much of any passion or fire when their play was so poor the last two games. Yeah at the end of the SDSU game they were “in it”, but that’s because they had relegated to 2nd/3rd stringers bringing Zenner in on a drive if it was getting close. We’re not where we need to be yet to be competitive in the Big Sky. I hope Faison and the Athletic Department put their heads together (during or at the end of this season), make some changes, and show UND fans that we don’t want to be known as just a Hockey School! We want our sports to succeed in all aspects. Sometimes that means paying a better coach to come in.

  5. joe

    Remember when Roger thomas said D1 wasn’t a higher level of competition just a different level of competition. Whoops!

  6. Siouxfan46

    A few years ago, I think, just before going into transition, UND went down to UNI and knocked off the #3 ranked FCS Panthers……with a Division II team. I believe that was Ryan Chapel’s freshman year. That just might be our signature win in the last few years. Is it possible that we had more overall talent on that DII team than we do now?

    1. geaux_sioux

      I can’t say that I think many if any starters on the current team would have started for that 06 team. WR is the only position where they would have. RB QB FB OL no way. Defense? No way. The team in 06 was stacked and tough and veteran for the most part. This team is not stacked not tough and young.

      I’d like to see the coaches sit some of the underperforming upper classmen to send a message and give the younger more talented players an opportunity.

  7. UND supporter

    Two consecutive blow-out losses at home against teams were gonna see each and every season – that’s no acceptable at all. If there’s no improvement by the end of the season, changes needs to be made. I don’t like the comparison to the NDSU’s 2009 3-8 season at all; NDSU had established themselves with a couple 10 win seasons prior to 2009. Since 2008 (Mussman era and DI era), UND has had only one 8-win season (included 3 non-DI wins though) and two losing seasons. I don think there’s been much progress or promise since 2008. If this season ends the same way it is going now, fan support will be at a very low level. There’s no reason, with the facilities that are present and are coming, that THE University of North Dakota should have such a poor football program as of late.

  8. NDSPortsFan

    I think UND needs to change their play book. Right now they are an Offense driven team. There is definitely some talent on the O side. BUT their defense has been all but lacking. The Big Sky conference follows the same play book. Look at Eastern Washington. They have a phenomenal offense…one of the best in the country…but almost ZERO defense. There is a reason NDSU has had good success with Offense oriented teams. Yes NDSU has the best Defense in the country…arguably it would be in the top 25 or better of the FBS…their offense is solid but not extraordinary. They play Defense football. Stop the run. Cover the routes. It holds great offenses to minimal gains. If UND would change their philosophy and build a D team, I have little doubt they would be dominant in the Big Sky. Had they attempted to go MVFC they would have been forced to go that way.

    1. See Bob Stoops latest comments about the SEC defense’s and how they are suddenly not so tough. The offense’s in each league dictate how “tough” a defense is.

      1. NDSPortsFan

        again, I stand by the analogy of NDSU. They prove that Defense wins the games. Look what they did to Sam Houston two years in a row. They took an high powered offense and shut it down. There is no doubt that Sam Houston, like Eastern Washington, have a top notch offense. NDSU built it’s team off Defense and I think UND could do the same.

        1. They are one team. Yes, that analogy works great and every team would love to have a great defense. UND does not and neither does any other team in the MVFC. That was my point. Ball control, run-first offenses make defensive numbers look alot better.

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