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5 things you might not have noticed in UND's win over Portland State

1. Bennett's sack total keeps climbing UND defensive end Mason Bennett finished with 1.5 sacks during UND's 17-10 win over Portland State on Saturday at the Alerus Center. That pushed Bennett's season total to 8.0 sacks. The junior from Winnipeg ...

Ev Williams
Portland State quarterback Davis Alexander grimaces as UND linebacker Everett Williams (#52) sacks him Saturday afternoon at the Alerus Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

1. Bennett's sack total keeps climbing

UND defensive end Mason Bennett finished with 1.5 sacks during UND's 17-10 win over Portland State on Saturday at the Alerus Center.

That pushed Bennett's season total to 8.0 sacks.

The junior from Winnipeg is now within .5 sacks of the school's Division I record for sacks in a season held by Ross Brenneman, who had 8.5 in 2011.

Bennett's total currently ties Bobby Stroup (2006) and Mark Turgeon (1981) for seventh in UND's all-time single season sack record.

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2. Palmborg, Fiedler suffer injuries

UND linebacker Tanner Palmborg and tight end Luke Fiedler suffered injuries against Portland State.

Palmborg, who is playing through an ACL injury, went down in the first half and didn't return.

Fiedler, after catching a 17-yard pass in the first half, went to the sideline holding his arm.

He returned to the sideline in the second half with a bandaged arm.

3. UND sees offensive woes

UND rushed for just 122 yards-with 78 of those going to Brady Oliveira.

John Santiago, who hadn't played the previous three weeks with an injury, returned to action against Portland State.

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Santiago finished with seven carries for 19 yards.

James Johannesson, who is also dealing with an injury, only had one carry for 7 yards.

UND quarterback Nate Ketteringham ran 13 times for 18 yards. Ketteringham had a 34-yard run, but his total was set back due to the loss of yards on sacks.

"I think the big issue was attitude," Santiago said. "Portland State wanted to win. You could sense that every snap. They played really physical. Coach Rudy and I said we have to pick it up and change our mentality. We weren't playing North Dakota football in that first half. Once Lenny had the pick, we rolled from there."

4. UND struggles in pass protection

UND quarterback Nate Ketteringham was sacked four times and was under pressure much of the game during pass protection.

"They show a lot of different looks and it's not all on the offensive line," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. "It's on our backs and the quarterback getting us in the right protection, too. We really had a difficult time for a while."

UND's longest pass play was 22 yards. Noah Wanzek, who missed last week's loss at Idaho with an injury, led the Hawks with five catches for 57 yards.

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"We have to be more balanced on offense," Schweigert said. "If teams take away the run, we have to be able to throw it. We'll get back to work tomorrow. We have to put together a good plan."

5. Barnum opts to keep a timeout

Portland State coach Bruce Barnum used two of his three timeouts late in the fourth quarter after UND was able to get the Vikings to jump offsides in the redzone on fourth-and-short.

Barnum didn't use his final timeout while UND had the ball, electing to keep one timeout for his offense but also allowing precious seconds tick off the clock.

Portland State received the ball back with 54 seconds remaining.

"Last week, we didn't have any left so it didn't get it done," Barnum said about his team's 48-45 loss to Idaho State. "We were in a tough situation. It allows us to throw it to the middle of the field. My quarterback wanted it in his pocket, so I decided to save it."

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, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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