UND expects another big dose of racing game in rematch with North Dakota State

That set the tone for a 316-yard rushing performance in NDSU’s 21-point victory over UND.

When the two teams meet at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Alerus Center, the Fighting Hawks expect another tall order to stop the race.

“I just think we have to go into the game and be more physical up front,” said UND nose guard Jalen Morrison. “We have to accept what the coaches are teaching us this week and trust our adjustments. When we play NDSU and when we watch a movie, they make a really nasty offensive team up front. ‘to be the more physical team, so we have a chip on our shoulder. We have to come in and play really hard. That’s the plan. “

In the spring, the Bison used fullback Hunter Luepke, who was playing his first game of the spring season against UND. He ran 28 times for 190 yards and three touchdowns.

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It was a career performance for Luepke, who never ran more than 100 yards in a match after the UND match. In three games this season, Luepke has no more than four runs in a single game.

But the Bison achieved FCS power by dominating the line of scrimmage and it’s no different this season. The NDSU is ahead of its opponents by 1,045 to 130.

Dominic Gonnella led the way with 238 rushing yards at 8.2 yards per carry. But six different full backs have traveled more than 90 yards this season for the Bison.

“I think you will always have to stop the race against them,” said UND coach Bubba Schweigert. “On the inside, on the outside, they’re manifold in the type of runs you need to defend. They’re good up front, so you need to be good with your adjustments and understand where you need to be in defense.”

UND might have a bit more firepower on defense than when the two teams met in Fargo. Morrison was injured in the first quarter against the Bison and did not return, while starting defenseman Jordan Canady was injured just a few games after Morrison.

UND is hoping the depth of his nose guard has improved as well. After Morrison, UND now has rookie Craig Orlando available after his injury last spring. Second-year students Elijah Beach and Chandon Pierre also made strides in programming.

But the Hawks will have a new Bison wrinkle to defend in the racing game. Last spring, NDSU started quarterback Zeb Noland, who wasn’t a serious threat.

NDSU quarterback this fall is Virginia Tech, transfer Quincy Patterson, a 6-3, 246-pound double-threat quarterback.

In all three NDSU games, Patterson has 22 carries for 114 yards.

“They challenge you all over the court, not only do they do it with the running backs, but they add the quarterback’s running game to the attack,” Schweigert said. “It creates challenges and you have to be very sharp. You rehearse and rehearse and try to be as prepared as possible.”

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