UND kicks off highly anticipated season with a mighty challenge

UND, ranked No. eight within the FCS, will play the College of Utah, a No. 25 FBS program from the Pac 12, in entrance of an anticipated promote-out crowd of greater than forty five,000 followers.

Temperatures are anticipated to be within the higher eighty’s for the 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The sport, UND’s first towards a present member of the Pac 12 in sixty seven years, will probably be televised on the Pac 12 community.

“I feel everybody’s sort of anxious due to how a lot you hear concerning the Pac 12, however I feel for many of us it is simply one other recreation,” stated UND security Cole Reyes, the preseason Massive Sky Convention Defensive Participant of the Yr. “I feel no matter who you play towards, it’s a must to be assured. We’re all enjoying the identical sport on the market.”

UND has seen success the previous couple of years towards the FBS. UND beat Wyoming 24-thirteen in 2015 and misplaced to Bowling Inexperienced 27-26 on a failed final-minute 2-level conversion try in 2016.

The Preventing Hawks, nevertheless, have not confronted a program from a Energy 5 convention since Texas Tech in 2009.

“It is an enormous problem,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert stated. “We all know we’re going right into a program resembling Utah, ranked excessive within the Pac 12, and they will have a number of expertise.

“Does that encourage our guys extra? It in all probability does. We do not know the impacts of that till we get there.”

UND has improved each season within the 4 years underneath Schweigert. The Preventing Hawks gained the Huge Sky Convention and made the FCS playoffs for the primary time in class historical past in 2016.

The expectations have risen once more in 2017 as UND returns multi-yr starter at quarterback in Keaton Studsrud, two all-Massive Sky Convention operating backs in Brady Oliveira and John Santiago, in addition to all the main move targets of Studsrud.

Utah, nevertheless, presents a big problem as a program that regularly sends expertise to the NFL.

The Utes, underneath the management of veteran head coach Kyle Wittingham, are 21-1 in non-convention video games since becoming a member of the Pac 12 in 2011.

Utah is 38-zero all-time towards members of the Massive Sky Convention.

“I feel everybody this fall camp is happy concerning the season with excessive expectations,” Studsrud stated. “You attempt to block out all the outdoors noise and never give it some thought.”

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