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5 things you might've missed in UND's 16-10 loss to North Dakota State

The Bison won for the first time in Grand Forks since 1997 in the first matchup in the Alerus Center since 2003.

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UND's Bo Belquist, center, celebrates with teammates Tyler Burian, left, and Marcus Preston after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against NDSU. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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1. The Alerus was rocking

UND football fans sounded like a group that had waited 18 years for North Dakota State to make a trip back to Grand Forks during the Bison's 16-10 win Saturday at the Alerus Center.

"In that first series, we tried to do just a vocal cadence, and we found out real quick that we can't do it," NDSU coach Matt Entz said.

Entz said his team practiced in the Fargodome with the speakers pumped up to 120 decibels. Entz said the Alerus was about 100 decibels.

"We probably should've started out in a clap with a non-verbal cadence," Entz said.

Virginia Tech transfer quarterback Quincy Patterson said the atmosphere was tougher than he expected.

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"We prepare for noise but we couldn't prepare for what it was," Patterson said. "We struggled at the beginning but we cleaned it up."

2. Bison wide receivers finished with minus-1 yards

North Dakota State finished with just 57 passing yards and tight end Noah Gindorff had four catches for 58 yards.

Bison standout wide receiver Christian Watson didn't have a single catch or carry. He had one kick return for 16 yards.

"I think the ball had to come out quick because of the amount of pressure they were bringing," Entz said. "They were trying to do as many things as they could to affect our quarterback. We have to get more quick passing game going early in the game to slow them down a bit."

3. UND shuffled the offensive line

The UND offensive line did some shuffling for the first time this season against the Bison.

UND switched Easton Kilty from tackle to guard and swapped Donny Ventrelli from guard to tackle. UND's previous starter at right guard, Colin Lavell, was out with an injury so the Hawks started Grand Forks native Ben Christian at guard.

"With the opponent, we thought it was a better matchup by putting Easton inside and Donny back out to tackle and we'll keep evaluating that," Schweigert said. "Moved guys around a little bit. Just seeing if we can get better matchups in the game."

4. Navratil hurt early

UND outside linebacker Josh Navratil suffered an upper-body injury in the first half and didn't return.

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Navratil is already playing increased reps because the Hawks lost starting outside linebacker Ray Haas to a long-term injury in Week 1 at Idaho State.

Another outside linebacker, Jaxson Turner, was shaken up against the Bison with about five minutes to go in the second quarter. Turner was able to come back in the game, though.

Both Navratil and Turner finished with just one tackle.

UND wide receiver Tyler Burian also appeared to suffer an upper-body injury and didn't return to the game.

5. Brockstar formation doesn't get a chance

For the fist time since 2019, the UND offense flashed the intention of using wide receiver Brock Boltmann in a quarterback formation, which was dubbed the Brockstar formation two seasons ago.

Boltmann missed all of the spring season with an injury, and the Hawks didn't use Boltmann at quarterback in the first three weeks of the season.

On two separate occasions against NDSU, the Hawks lined up with Boltmann taking the snap. However, on one of the plays, UND was called for a procedure penalty. On the other, a play in which Boltmann motioned into the backfield and Tommy Schuster split out to a wide receiver spot, UND was flagged for delay of 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, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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