UND's locker room at Nicholls State will be temporary tents
By Tom Miller
Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota football team won’t exactly receive red-carpet treatment for the program’s first trip to Louisiana in 10 years.
Nicholls State’s visiting locker room consists of temporary tents located outside John L. Guidry Stadium in Thibodaux, La.
The setup, in at least its second year of existence, will be the same for UND’s first round FCS playoff game at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nicholls State media relations director Jamie Bustos said Monday.
“The away team has to stay in tents, so that’ll be a challenge in itself,” UND cornerback Evan Holm said. “It’s just another big challenge.”
In June, Nicholls State announced a $6.5 million football facility renovation, which includes plans for a 20,000-square-foot facility to be built in the south end zone. The hope is for completion by the start of the 2020 football season.
“That’ll take care of that problem,” Bustos said.
Some have taken to Twitter to voice displeasure of the setup over the past couple of seasons.
The availability of one of the UND football team’s top playmakers for the first round of the FCS playoffs remains uncertain.
UND senior wide receiver Noah Wanzek, who suffered an upper-body injury against Southern Utah in Saturday’s regular-season finale, is questionable for the Fighting Hawks’ game against Nicholls State at 3 p.m. Saturday in Thibodaux, La.
“We know he’s really sore, and we’ll know more about it tonight,” UND head coach Bubba Schweigert said during his Monday afternoon weekly press conference. “Right now it’s day by day.”
Wanzek was injured in the third quarter while fighting for extra yards on a 17-yard catch. He immediately signaled toward the sideline.
Wanzek went back to the locker room with a member of the training staff and returned for the remainder of the game with his right arm in a sling.
Wanzek finished with six catches for 100 yards against Southern Utah, marking his third straight 100-yard receiving performance. On the season, the Jamestown High School product has 67 catches for 935 yards and four touchdowns.
Holm says wait
Holm wasn’t honored with the other seniors listed on the roster at last weekend’s Senior Day against Southern Utah at the Alerus Center.
That’s because Holm, who missed the first portion of the year with an injury, has planned to play in four games this season and use a redshirt in order to come back for a full senior season in 2020.
Holm played as a true freshman in 2016.
The hangup, however, is UND’s first round FCS playoff game against Nicholls State will be Holm’s fourth game of the season.
That means Holm would have a decision to make if the Fighting Hawks win a first-round game.
Does he play at No. 1 North Dakota State in the second round? Or does he sit and protect the entire 2020 season?
“We’ll get there when we get there, I guess,” Holm said Monday. “We’re going to focus on Nicholls State and see what happens.”
No. 24 UND at No. 19 Nicholls
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Thibodaux, La.
TV/Radio: ESPN3, 96.1 FM
Records: UND 7-4; Nicholls State 8-4
At stake: The winner will play at North Dakota State in the second round of the FCS playoffs.