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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As the UND football program looks for ways to improve following a disappointing 25-21 loss at home against Idaho State last weekend, the Fighting Hawks are zeroing in on halftime. Idaho State blanked UND’s offense in the second half, a troubling trend as the Hawks travel to Northern Colorado for a 1 p.m. Saturday matchup in Greeley, Colo.
1. UND has a mascot The Fighting Hawks officially have a mascot. For the first time, UND unveiled Saturday afternoon a costumed Fighting Hawk during the Potato Bowl matchup against Idaho State at the Alerus Center. The Fighting Hawk entered the field through an inflatable helmet in the corner of the field, riding in the back of a four-wheeler before the football team ran onto the field before the game. The mascot featured a white head, gray beak and green wings, as well as green basketball shorts.
1. UND has a mascot The Fighting Hawks officially have a mascot. For the first time, UND unveiled Saturday afternoon a costumed Fighting Hawk during the Potato Bowl matchup against Idaho State at the Alerus Center. The Fighting Hawk entered the field through an inflatable helmet in the corner of the field, riding in the back of a four-wheeler before the football team ran onto the field before the game.
There’s just something about Idaho State. For the UND football team, nothing comes easy against the Bengals. And nothing came easy again Saturday for UND against Idaho State. In fact, Idaho State ruined UND’s Potato Bowl and took away the Fighting Hawks’ momentum as the Bengals took a stunning 25-21 win at the Alerus Center.
The end of the first half Friday night could have been a devastating omen for Fergus Falls, which came into the game winless at 0-3. On fourth-and-goal from the 22 with 17 seconds left, East Grand Forks Senior High quarterback Carter Beck lofted a pass near the goal line that was deflected by a Fergus Falls defender and bounced directly into the arms of Green Wave running back Ethan Trebil for a touchdown and a 14-0 halftime lead.
Former UND safety Cole Reyes is a step closer to playing football again. But it's not in the NFL. It's the Alliance of American Football. Phil Savage, the general manager of the Alliance Phoenix team, tweeted earlier this week that his team drafted Reyes. The AAF, founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian, is scheduled to begin its inaugural season in February, one week after the Super Bowl. The AAF consists of eight teams—Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake, San Antonio and San Diego.
The UND football program has a ton of momentum. The Fighting Hawks are ranked (No. 22) in the STATS FCS poll for the first time this year. The team is coming off a win over the highest-ranked opponent (No. 5 Sam Houston State) in the Division I era. What’s UND going to do with all that momentum? For starters, the Hawks will have to handle it better than recent history.
Supporters of UND athletics remember Phil Jackson as the school’s most prominent basketball alum. Jackson, who was awarded the Sioux Award on Thursday night at the Alerus Center, played for the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets and coached the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers before serving as the Knicks’ team president.
Former UND running back Phillip Moore is the school’s all-time leading rusher with 5,697 yards -- a record that doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy any time soon. There’s another, perhaps less-known mark, that Moore holds in the record book. In a game against Minnesota State Mankato in 1998, Moore carried the ball 46 times. That might be one of the most untouchable records in all of UND athletics.
Do you think James Johannesson is being used right or enough? I know with Olivera and Santiago it is tough to find touches, but he seems too talented to be used so little. -- N.O.