This week the UND football team heads out to beautiful Pocatello, Idaho to take on the Idaho State Bengals in their version of a dome, Holt Arena. Game time is 3pm CT. ISU is 2-2 on the year with both wins coming vs. D2 teams. Their two losses are to Washington (FBS) and UC-Davis, who beat them 30-13 last week in Davis, CA.
What you just read is all we are going to say about UND’s opponent this week. Normally, we like to look at their offense and defense and tell a little about their scheme’s, key players, etc. Not this week. To us it doesn’t matter who ISU is going to line up against UND. Yes, they were picked last in the Big Sky polls and have perennially been a cellar dweller in the Big Sky. That may be the reason why you think we are not caring about what they are going to oppose UND with on Saturday. Not the case at all. The Bengals are better than they have been in the past and can no doubt pull off the win if UND doesn’t take control early.
This week all we care about is UND. We want to see what UND has in them as a team and what they are going to show UND fans in their first road game of the year coming off back-to-back beatdowns by the Montana schools.
- Will UND be able to put all the negative press and message board chastising behind them and go out and pound a team they should beat, at least on paper anyway?
- Control both lines of scrimmage.
- We want to see the running game continue to build off last week’s 165 yard effort vs. MSU. We are going to continue to send out a page for PJ Sparks and Adam Shaugabay.
- Get Greg Hardin the ball in space – short quick throws that allow him to make guys miss and gain yards with the ball in his hand instead of always running posts and fades. He is one of the quicker/faster players in all of FCS, let him show it.
- Defensively, make that one-on-one tackle in the hole for a 2-3 yard gain. The inside linebackers need to play a much better game this week. Safeties need to be just that, a safety, and clean up anything that slips through.
- Get the Kick Return game going. The last two weeks were terrible. Montana and Montana State came right out and kicked to Greg Hardin with no fear and were never burned for it. Get some bodies on them and turn Hardin loose.
- No blown coverages. Line up right and run the defense as it’s called. These formations are not unique and in fact, its the same thing over and over again every week.
- Joe Mollberg needs to start learning from his mistakes and showing improvement, both mentally and physically. He needs to hit the open receivers when they are there and make the right reads. He has struggled mightily thus far, but when he’s playing like he’s capable of, he gives UND the best chance to win. Start leading Joe – this week.
- It would be nice to see the UND defensive backs make some plays without taunting or making a big scene over it. They aren’t nearly good enough at their position to do the amount of trash talking that goes on. We’d love to see them just do their job and get back to the huddle or sideline.
- There are no distractions this week. There is not a Top 10 team in the country opposing them. The schedule is back to normal. This game will tell us a whole heck of a lot about what UND is made of.