UND hopes to bounce back from poor start with homecoming game against Northern Colorado

GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota football team’s season, once filled with excitement and high expectations, has been marred with high-profile injuries, lopsided losses and most recently two arrests.
The Fighting Hawks will try to push a little positivity back into the Alerus Center at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, when they host Northern Colorado for a Big Sky Conference homecoming matchup.
“We just have to attack every day,” UND senior offensive lineman Mat Cox said. “You can only affect what you can do today. We want to get better every day and the end will take care of itself.”
UND’s defense will try to get back on track after giving up more than 45 points in three straight weeks. The Fighting Hawks’ typical stout run defense has plummeted to a No. 113 ranking in the FCS in rushing yards allowed per game (242.6).
Injuries have played a big role in UND’s defensive shortcomings and the injury report doesn’t appear to be shrinking.
UND starting inside linebacker Jake Disterhaupt, who leads the team in tackles, was hurt last week at UC Davis. He’s questionable for Saturday’s game.
That leaves UND’s expected starters at inside linebacker as first-time starter Oscar Nevermann and redshirt freshman walk-on Jake Rastas.
Redshirt freshman Cam Hunt, who has yet to play this season due to an injury, is expected to see his first action of his career against the Bears.
Star safety Cole Reyes and cornerback Evan Holm are also questionable for the game after missing the UC Davis game.
Aside from the injuries, the Hawks had to deal with more bad news as UND players Damon Taylor and Andre Randolph were arrested Thursday and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Both had been out with injuries.
UND’s game plan, however, hasn’t changed against the Bears.
“We want to control the clock and make teams earn it on defense,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. “What it comes down to is we have to find a way to get our guys to play on their toes and attack offenses again.”
Northern Colorado comes in with a 2-2 record, with a Sept. 9 game at Florida being canceled due to a hurricane.
The Bears are 1-1 in the league with a tight win over Idaho State (43-42) and a loss at Northern Arizona (48-20).