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UND fourth-down decisions help swing momentum to Washington

North Dakota Fighting Hawks tight end Luke Fiedler (34) reaches for a first down as he is tackled by Washington Huskies defensive back JoJo McIntosh (14) during the second quarter of Saturday's game. Photo/Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE -- Twice, UND faced a decision on fourth down near midfield in the second quarter.

Fighting Hawks coach Bubba Schweigert went for it once and punted once.

Neither decision turned out well for UND, which lost 45-3 at No. 9 Washington on Saturday at Husky Stadium.

The first decision came with UND hanging within 10-0 with about 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter.

UND appeared ready to go for it on fourth down, but the Fighting Hawks called a timeout and then changed to come out in punt formation.

Washington responded with a definitive nine-play, 87-yard scoring drive. A Myles Gaskin 2-yard touchdown run to cap the drive gave the Huskies a 17-0 lead with 6:52 left to halftime.

UND faced a fourth-and-1 on its next drive. This time, the Hawks went for it but a James Johannesson run up the middle was stuffed for no gain.

UND’s new AD

has history with Huskies

UND athletic director Bill Chaves is familiar with the underdog role at Husky Stadium.

The former AD at Eastern Washington has even seen first-hand his underdog team put a scare into Washington.

In 2014, EWU lost 59-52 to Washington. In 2011, Washington beat EWU 30-27.

“Our student-athletes will remember these games for the rest of their lives,” Chaves said before the game. “It’s not a best-of-five, a best-of-seven or even a doubleheader. You get to go out, make a good play here or there … this could set you up for the rest of the season.”

Chaves said the game will help UND in Week 3 against Sam Houston State.

“The speed we’ll see on both sides of the field, with NFL talent, will prepare us for the rest of our schedule,” Chaves said.

Injury watch

UND played without a handful of players typically in the defensive rotation.

Linebackers Austin Gordon and Jade Lawrence, safety Lenny Nelson and cornerback Tyus Carter didn’t travel with the team due to injuries, while nose guard Tank Harris traveled but wasn’t able to go against the Huskies.

All five of those injuries are expected to be short term, with the possibility of returning to the lineup in Week 3 against Sam Houston State.

UND didn’t appear to accumulate many injuries during the game against the Huskies.

Late in the fourth quarter, safety and Grand Forks native Derek Murph appeared to suffer an injury on a tackle.

Inside linebacker Noah Larson also appeared to take limited reps.

Briefly

Washington’s 632 yards of total offense were ninth-most in school history. The Huskies’ 437 passing yards were fourth-most in school history.

UND finished the game with no penalties.

UND running back John Santiago moved into second place on the school’s all-time rushing list and the all-time all-purpose yards list. He now has 3,389 rushing yards to pass Bill Deutsch (3,345). He has 5,960 all-purpose yards to move past Phillip Moore (5,586).

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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