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UND's spring football season ended Saturday at the Alerus Center without an answer to the program's biggest question. Who will start at quarterback in the fall when the Sioux begin their first season in the Big Sky Conference? However, there isn't as much urgency to answering the question as there was last year. At the annual Green-White game, quarterbacks Joey Bradley -- last year's starter -- and North Carolina transfer Braden Hanson both had their moments as the Green team took a 20-14 win over the White squad before nearly 2,000 fans. And for good measure, Marcus Hendrickson -- who had
Before today's annual UND Green-White spring game, there will be a lot of beef on display outside the Alerus Center.
Three times during Saturday's scrimmage at Memorial Stadium, UND's Jameer Jackson caught a short pass and looked to gain extra yards. Jackson knew he wasn't going to gain those yards with his speed. "I'm not exactly the fastest guy but I'm pretty physical," Jackson said.
A few plays into Saturday's scrimmage, UND safety Erik Mersereau came up with an interception and sprinted approximately 30 yards before the whistle blew. Instead of stopping, he did a celebratory no-hands forward flip -- an indication of his athleticism. "I'd get a lot of grief if I did that in a game," Mersereau said. "So I had to get it out in practice." But UND's offense managed to flip the circumstances somewhat as the second scrimmage of the spring season progressed at Memorial Stadium. It wasn't a great day by the offense, but there were signs of improvement.
Growing up in Warroad, Minn., Adam Shaugabay had to play hockey. "You have to play hockey," Shaugabay said. "It's in your blood up there. You're so close to Canada and the (hockey) stick factory is there, too. As a little kid, you grew up watching the Warroad Warriors going to state and winning hockey championships with guys like T.J.
UND becomes a Big Sky Conference member next season, a move that brings an upgrade in competition. The Sioux are trying to upgrade their roster, too, by adding power up front -- a necessity in the Big Sky. The search for a power forward or center -- or both-- continues at UND, which will not have any signings to announce today. Recruits can sign national letters of intent today, the start of the spring signing season. Two recruits were on campus last week and another reportedly is expected to visit this week.
In UND's 2010 homecoming game against Southern Utah, Sioux defensive lineman Seth Stanchik had a shot at taking down Thunderbirds' quarterback Brad Sorenson. "It was one of the first plays of the second half," Stanchik recalled. "I was almost to the quarterback and I just got hit in the leg. I was flipped over. It didn't hurt at first. It just felt like a huge dead leg. Then I got up and knew something was wrong right away." Stanchik fell to the Alerus Center turf. His season was over as he suffered a broken fibula and tibia.
Toward the end of Friday's practice at Memorial Stadium, UND quarterback Braden Hanson connected with receiver R.J. McGill for a 50-yard gainer. It was one of those perfect-spiral on-the-money passes that McGill caught in stride behind the Sioux secondary. "That long post over the top felt real good," McGill said. "He put it right into my bread basket. It was right on the money." McGill has been right on the money in spring camp.
UND completed its fifth practice of spring football Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. A number of things have changed in the five practices -- some good, some not so good. But there has been one constant: Sioux linebacker Dominique Bennett is making life miserable for the UND offensive line. "He's driving our offensive linemen crazy," UND coach Chris Mussman said.
At UND's practice Saturday at Memorial Stadium, there were plenty of high-fives to go around for the Sioux defense. But there were words of caution associated with the high-fives. "The defense had the upper hand over the offense the entire day," UND coach Chris Mussman said. "Give our defense credit; they're pretty good but they played against a pretty awful group today. We're not going to dislocate our shoulders patting ourselves on the back." UND's offense struggled in the first live session of the spring season.