Week 10 Preview – Northern Colorado Bears

Seventeen seniors will play their final home game this week at The Alerus when the 1-8 University of Northern Colorado Bears come back to Grand Forks for the first time since since 2001 when both teams were still Division II and UND was making its run to a National Championship.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 pm CST and the game will be televised on Midco Sports Network 3.

UND Defense vs. UNC Offense

The UNC offense is similar to last week’s opponent (NAU) in scheme and formations.  The QB is under center as much as he is in the ‘Gun’ and they like to employ two back sets, along with a TE or possibly two TE’s.  A prototypical “Pro-Style” offense.

On the year UNC is averaging a meager 22 pts/game on offense.  They average 378 yds per game, with 297 of that coming through the air.  They appear to have troubles getting in the end zone, with the 16 turnovers on the year not helping.

The offense is led by QB Seth Lobato.  The 6’6″, 223lb senior has had a decent senior season, throwing for 2,026 yds and 12 TD’s vs. 6 INT’s.  He is hitting at a 57% clip.  Lobato shows pretty good arm strength and decent mobility for a big man.  As we stated above, Lobato operates under center as well as in the ‘Gun’.

Lobato’s favorite receiver in the passing game is #3 Dimitri Stimphil.  Stimphil, 5’10”, has 54 catches for 847 yds and 5 TD’s.  He will be their home run hitter on Saturday and the UND secondary will be tested continuously by Stimphil and his receiving partner, #25 Jace Davis.  Davis, 6’2″, has had a very good year also with 44 catches for 673 yds and 5 TD’s.

The man who will probably be the busiest on Saturday is running back #31 Tromaine Dennis.  On the year Dennis has 569 yds and 6 TD’s.  At 5’11”-217, Dennis is a load to bring down.  We foresee the Bears handing the ball off to Dennis quite frequently this weekend.

As we stated, our guess is the Bears try to pound the ball at UND all game and control the pace.  UND reverted back to form last week and could not stop the NAU running game at all.  With football being a copy cat game, we believe that UNC will try execute the same gameplan.  Even though they only average 81 yds/game on the ground, they still will have a shot to get the ground game going against UND, being they give up 198 yds/game.

UND Offense vs UNC Defense

UND will face a Northern Colorado defense that gives up 414 total yards/game, with 296 of that coming through the air.  They are allowing  31.7 points per game.  The Bears defense is led by senior middle linebacker #56 Clarence Bumpas (80 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks) and junior strongside linebacker #40 Max Flores (69 tackles, 7 TFL, 2.5 sacks).

This 40 front defense is linebacker dominated as all 3 starting linebackers lead the team in tackles.  Predominantly, UNC likes to play a lot of 2-high coverages with cover 2 and cover 4 looks, but they will also roll down a safety and play some cover 3 zone against ‘3 by 1’ sets and will show cover 1 in blitzing situations.

Injuries are a concern this week with the status of senior offensive lineman Joe Kleason and senior running back Jake Miller both up in the air.  Kleason left the game in the 4th quarter in Flagstaff for reasons we do not know.  Not having Kleason at center this week after the o-line play improved at NAU will definitely hurt.  If Kleason cant go, experienced Shea Walker will have to step in and play again at center.  We expect to see more of Jer Garman, Adam Shaugabay and dare we say, PJ Sparks? (GASP)

Ryan Bartels will no doubt start the game this week, as he should.  He needs to clean up the turnovers and interceptions this week and build off his performance from last week, which was a solid effort for the freshman from Sycamore, IL.  If he continues to make the proper reads and throw the ball on time, he will be effective once again this week in the passing game.  He just needs to get the ball to his playmakers and let them get upfield after the catch.  We look for big things for Greg Hardin this week as the senior from Nebraska plays for the final time at home.  We think UND will try to do a better job this week controlling the clock with the running game, assuming that they dont fall behind early like they did last week at Northern Arizona where the running game was thrown out the window.  This team cannot be throwing the ball 50-60 times every game.


It’s North Dakota deer hunting opener – a statewide rite of passage and holiday – and UND currently sits at 2-7.  This is not a good recipe to have the stands full on Saturday at The Alerus Center.  These 17 seniors and the underclassmen are going to have to create their own excitement and atmosphere and do so with a lot of pride.  Special teams could be the difference maker this week.  This game comes down to a field goal at the end……for the good guys.

UND 30

UNC 27

11 Responses

  1. Dan

    Thanks for the update. And thanks for all the work, all year long. I agree, I hope the good guys in Green send the senior class out with a final home win.

  2. Den

    This is tough, I really want the players to have a great final game, but maybe we could have Muss trip on his ego on the way to the game and they win big with him at Altru. He still needs to go, even if they win the last two games. Go UND. Congratulations Seniors, have a great game and good luck in the future.

    1. Den

      Oh, crap, now we have a coaching controversy!!! UND should have beaten these guys by two TDs. Going to be an interesting and very frustrating off season. Crap!!!

  3. Dan

    I will bet Mussman is retained. One more year. UND hasn’t supported him financially over his time. Look at the hires in the coaching area. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. Faison doesn’t want to lose even more money, and letting Mussman go and replacing him will cost a ton more than staying pat.

    1. Den

      My biggest fear! Funny thing. UND called me shortly after the game ended. I did not even answer. If Muss stays,I have told the alum folks my legacy gift is gone. The u of min has already seen larger planned giving because they are putting a better product on the field this year. Faison may underestimate the effect of keeping a coach that cannot win at this level especially with a struggling hockey team also stirring up the alum fan base.

    2. DMB

      What is your basis for saying Faison is cheap? Did you expect him to give Muss and his assistants huge raises – despite very limited success? You may be able to say “I told you so” in a few days but I fully expect Faison to take the necessary action and we will be getting excited about a new coach quite soon. Faison certainly doesn’t have an open pocket book but I don’t think he will have any problem finding the $ for a talented coach.

  4. Ironman

    Den I think what he’s saying is look at the staff. Not about Mussman’s salary. Last year with both coordinator jobs open, they could have went outside and spent some money on a proven, experienced commodity— maybe for at least one of the positions. Nope, they promoted 2 young, UND guys from within, with no previous coordinator experience. If your a head coach would you be happy with that? By doing that I think UND was telling Mussman that’s all the dollars they are willling to spend on football right now. So, the product we are seeing is at least in part due to coordinators learning on the fly how to be a coordinators. Plus, others filled their old jobs, so you double increase the amount of newbies at those positions positions as well. Young team, young staff, tough year.

Comments are closed.