Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio—Vegas oddsmakers are pegging the UND football program as an almost three-touchdown underdog today against Bowling Green. The No. 25-ranked Fighting Hawks, who stumbled in a Week 1 loss at Stony Brook, are taking another annual shot at an FBS opponent. UND faces the Falcons of the Mid-American Conference at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN3 and WDAY'Z Xtra. UND's 2016 FBS matchup, though, will take on a different feel following the Fighting Hawks' 2015 victory over Wyoming, the program's first FBS victory.
The UND football program technically hasn't been going through conditioning drills during practice this week at Memorial Stadium. But there has been a lot of out-of-gas Fighting Hawks. UND, hoping to mimic Bowling Green's up-tempo offense, has been speeding in and out of the offensive huddle to help the defense adjust to the Falcons' version of the Air-Raid passing attack.
On Saturday, the UND football program will face Bowling Green, a team that surrendered 77 points last weekend against Ohio State. Another team around the country might be drooling, looking ahead with great anticipation at a defense gashed that hard in Week 1. But the Fighting Hawks, who slipped to No. 25 in the national rankings on Monday, are looking inward coming off a one-touchdown performance in a Week 1 13-9 loss at Stony Brook.
STONY BROOK, N.Y.—Stony Brook blocked a UND punt and Kye Morgan returned it for 7 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night as the Seawolves beat the Fighting Hawks 13-9 in the season opener for both teams. UND had a chance late in the fourth quarter but the Seawolves stopped Brady Oliveira short on a fourth-and-1 near the Stony Brook 25-yard line. UND led 7-0 on a John Santiago 16-yard run before the Seawolves tied it at 7 late in the second quarter. Cole Reyes recorded a safety for UND in the third quarter for a 9-7 lead.
STONY BROOK, N.Y.—Perhaps even more costly than UND's 13-9 loss to Stony Brook on Thursday night at LaValle Stadium was the long-term effects of key injuries. UND wide receiver Clive Georges and safety Cole Reyes suffered injuries against the Seawolves. Georges' injury appeared to be severe. As he was tackled near the goal-line early in the second half, Georges appeared to suffer a gruesome injury to his left leg. Georges, who was injured in last year's season opener against Wyoming, was taken away from the field in an ambulance.
STONY BROOK, N.Y.—The UND football program traveled Wednesday to New York for the first time since 1930 when the team played Army. There are 86 years between trips, but the Fighting Hawks know what to expect in the Empire State. UND opens its highly anticipated 2016 season at 6 tonight at Lavale Stadium against Stony Brook, a physical, run-first offense that relies on a stout defense.
For the first time since the UND football program was an NCAA Division II power prior to the 2008 season, the Fighting Hawks have big expectations. For the first time, UND is ranked in the Top 25 in preseason polls. The Fighting Hawks are No. 19 in the STATS FCS poll, No. 21 in the FCS Coaches poll and No. 19 in the Hero Sports FCS Media poll. UND coach Bubba Schweigert, whose team plays at Stony Brook in New York at 6 p.m. Thursday, wants his team to block out the Week 1 love.
UND junior safety Cole Reyes remembers the last time he faced Stony Brook, a 13-3 win in 2014 at the Alerus Center. "It was one of the most physical games I've ever been in as a football player," Reyes said. The No. 19 Fighting Hawks expect the same style at 6 p.m. Thursday in the season opener on Long Island at Stony Brook's Kenneth P. Lavale Stadium. "They're a big, physical team," UND senior tight end Luke Mathewson said. "We expect it to be one of the more physical teams based on their sheer size and game plan."
UND sophomore running back Brady Oliveira has developed a reputation as a physical runner. That physicality runs in the family. His dad, Adail, was a semi-professional soccer player in Brazil before competing in kickboxing in Canada. His brother, Kyle, is a 25-year-old hoping to rise the ranks in mixed martial arts and boxing. Brady, at 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds, also brings the fight when he carries the ball as the No. 2 running back for UND, which opens the season Thursday night at 6 at Stony Brook University in New York.
UND announced Thursday the 18-member Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, a group asked to provide recommendations on the athletic department's $1.4 million budget shortfall for the 2016 fiscal year. Nine of the 18 members are faculty representatives. Athletic department representatives include athletic director Brian Faison, faculty athletics representative Sue Jeno, deputy director of athletics and senior women's administrator Daniella Irle and men's and women's cross country coach Dick Clay.