THIBODAUX, La. -- The UND football team received a pregame boost Saturday afternoon before falling 24-6 to Nicholls State in the first round of the FCS playoffs.
Senior wide receiver Noah Wanzek, who suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday, started against Nicholls State in the first round of the FCS playoffs.
The Jamestown product was a factor, too.
He had a 4-yard catch on UND’s first offensive play.
On UND’s second offensive series, Wanzek had a 32-yard catch. That catch gave Wanzek UND’s Division I single-season receptions record with 70.
The previous mark was held by Kenny Golladay (2013) and Brady Trenbeath (2008).
Wanzek finished with seven catches for 61 yards.
"I"m a senior and it's playoffs so nothing's guaranteed," Wanzek said. "I just had to play."
2. Cochran plays, Wilde out
A week ago, when Wanzek was sidelined with a shoulder injury, UND senior wide receiver Alex Wilde saw his biggest role of the season.
Wilde, a graduate transfer from South Dakota State, suffered an injury against Southern Utah and couldn’t suit up against Nicholls.
With Wilde out, UND turned to true freshman wide receiver Chrysten Cochran, who played in his fourth game of the year against Nicholls.
Cochran played against North Dakota State, Sam Houston State and UC Davis earlier this year.
He hadn’t played since Oct. 5.
Cochran caught two passes for 10 yards.
3. Wind plays a factor
The heat and humidity wasn’t as much of a factor against Nicholls State as much as it was the 20 miles-per-hour wind.
The temperature at kickoff was 80 degrees with 70 percent humidity.
The first punt for UND’s Cade Peterson went 19 yards.
UND also elected to kick a long field goal with the wind at its back, although Brady Leach missed the 47-yard attempt short.
UND's passing game wasn't impacted much by the wind, Wanzek said.
"I don't think (the wind) had as much impact as you think," Wanzek said. "It alters the ball a little bit, but it's nothing that should throw you off."
4. Boltmann injured
UND’s Brock Boltmann returned a short, line-drive kick 24 yards late in the first half, which set up UND’s first points of the game.
On the play, though, Boltmann took a huge hit and appeared to be shaken up.
Boltmann emerged from the team’s locker room before the second half with his pads off, speaking to members of the team’s training staff.
He didn't return to the game in the second half.
5. Bennett sets record
UND defensive end Mason Bennett has battled through injuries this season, but he was still able to set the program’s Division I record for career sacks.
Bennett, a senior from Winnipeg, chased down Nicholls quarterback Chase Fourcade early in the second quarter on a third-down scramble.
With the sack, Bennett passed Ross Brenneman for career sacks with 19.5. Brenneman had 18.5.
Bennett also added a sack of Fourcade early in the third quarter.