5 things to know about UND football's Week 3 opponent Drake

UND takes on Drake on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the annual Potato Bowl at the Alerus Center.

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UND defensive linesman Jaelen Johnson (99) and linebacker Jaxson Turner (15) force a fumble on Drake's Devin Cates Saturday afternoon at the Alerus Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

1. Familiar quarterback for UND

Drake visited the Alerus Center in 2019 and the Bulldogs featured a quarterback making his first career college start in Ian Corwin.

Corwin is still quarterback for the Bulldogs and will be a little more seasoned this time around.

Back in UND's 47-7 win over Drake in 2019, Corwin finished 8-for-20 for 55 yards and was sacked four times. He was intercepted by UND safety Jordan Canady, who made his fall 2021 debut last Saturday at Utah State following a spring injury.

Corwin, a 6-foot right-hander, was an Oklahoma 6A Offensive Player of the Year out of Tulsa, Okla.

Corwin, who was on the Jerry Rice Award Watch List back in 2019 after bouncing back following the struggles against UND, threw for 180 yards in a Week 1 win over West Virginia Wesleyan and 149 yards in a Week 2 loss at Montana State.


2. Drake strength is on D

Drake coach Todd Stepsis was the team's defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach in 2019.

The Bulldogs brought back a big chunk of one of the Pioneer League's best defenses.

A year ago, Drake ranked first in the Pioneer in scoring defense (12.8 points), second in total defense (274.4 yards) and first in rushing defense (77.2 yards).

Drake also returns three members of the defense who are on the preseason all-Pioneer first team in linebacker Jake Hoper, defensive back Danny Morales and linebacker Ryan Kriceri.

3. UND has a history of pressure on the Drake QBs

The UND football program has played Drake three times since 2011 and the first two matchups weren't blowouts.

But one things has been a constant in the series.

UND's defense has harassed the quarterback.

UND had six sacks against Drake in 2015, four in 2019 and four in 2011.


Drake quarterback Ian Corwin was sacked three times against Montana State last weekend.

4. No Drake player will wear No. 43

Drake retired jersey No. 43 in 2006 after former star Johnny Bright.

In 1951, Bright was named a First Team College Football All-American and was invited to the Heisman Trophy festivities and finished fifth in the voting.

In February 2006, the football field at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, was named in his honor.

Bright had a long CFL career and in 2006 was voted as one of the CFL's Top 50 players of the modern era by TSN.

In 1951, Drake was involved in was later known as the "Johnny Bright Incident" in which Oklahoma A&M (later Oklahoma State) targeted the African-American Bright and eventually broke his jaw.

The incident eventually provoked changes in NCAA rules regarding illegal blocking and mandated the use of more protective helmets with face guards.

5. Drake will see a new UND offense from 2019

UND scored six touchdowns and kicked a field goal in a 2019 win over Drake.


Only one touchdown was scored by a player returning for UND in 2021.

UND wide receiver Garett Maag caught a 28-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter in the 2019 game against Drake. The pass came from Andrew Zimmerman, who filled in for starter Nate Ketteringham, who was injured on the first drive of the second half.

Other scores for UND in that 2019 game included a field goal from Brady Leach, a 5-yard Noah Wanzek touchdown catch from Ketteringham, a James Johannesson 1-yard run, a Cam McKinney 4-yard run, a Travis Toivonen 35-yard catch from Zimmerman and third-string quarterback Noah Grover ran one in from 5 yards out to finish things off late in the fourth quarter.

UND outside linebacker Jaxson Turner, who's health is questionable for the Potato Bowl, had 1.5 sacks in the 2019 Drake game.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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