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UND FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Bradley efficient in opener

As debuts go, it wasn't a show-stopper.

But it was a win. And that was all that mattered to UND's Joey Bradley, who started his first game at quarterback Thursday night in leading the Sioux to a 16-0 victory over Drake at the Alerus Center.

The junior college transfer from California ran an efficient Sioux offense, one that relied on Mitch Sutton's running and a short-passing game. The only drawback was a rash of penalties that hindered the Sioux most of the night. The Sioux were penalized 12 times for 98 yards.

UND coach Chris Mussman said Bradley had his moments during his debut.

"It was sporadic," Mussman said of Bradley. "Early on, Joey looked good. He made some nice throws. But he had happy feet a few times. It was his first game, too. You have to make sure you're not putting too much on his plate. He can be better, just like the entire offense."

Bradley completed 18-of-26 passes for 137 yards. He had a couple of passes dropped and he was also sacked five times.

His longest pass was a 27-yard completion to R.J. McGill, which set up UND's second field goal.

True freshman plays

As expected, true freshman Jer Garman did see the field.

He was in the backfield in the first quarter and caught a 5-yard pass from Bradley early in the second quarter.

UND considered playing two more true freshman -- cornerback Dwayne Brown and H-back Zach Adler. But neither saw the field. Both were in the mix for playing time due to a lack of depth at tight end and cornerback. But the cornerback depth will improve in two weeks after Chavon Mackey, a projected starter, comes off his two-week suspension for a violation of team rules.

His name is Block, not Broc

A big play early came from Sioux defensive end Broc Bellmore, who blocked a 39-yard field goal attempt by Billy Janssen midway through the second quarter.

The block preserved UND's 3-0 lead.

For Bellmore, it was the seventh block of his career. The senior from West Fargo, N.D., blocked four kicks in his sophomore year, including two in one game against Central Arkansas. His four blocked kicks in 2009 is a single-season school record.

Mussman said Bellmore's blocking ability is almost taken for granted.

"Our guys give great effort on special teams," Mussman said.

New faces, voices

The radio voice of Sioux football, Jack Michaels, made his debut Thursday night.

Michaels, the sports director at KFGO Radio in Fargo, was joined in the radio booth by analyst Mike Berg. Todd Shirek worked the sideline.

Michaels is one of the most experienced radio play-by-play announcers in the state. He's worked University of Mary games, North Dakota State games, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks games and numerous high school contests.

He was excited to work his first UND game.

On the television side, Pat Sweeney again provided the play-by-play for the Fighting Sioux Sports Network.

Sweeney was joined by former UND player Mac Schneider, who also is a North Dakota state senator.

Schneider was a starting offensive lineman on UND's national championship team in 2001.

Sioux notes and quotes

n Tight end Seth Nichols, converted from quarterback, did not play. He was questionable after suffering an ankle injury in fall camp.

n UND won the opening coin toss and elected to receive.

n Mussman said Drake made things difficult for the Sioux. "I give a lot of credit to Drake," he said. "They had a good game plan. I knew it wasn't going to be a high-scoring game. But I anticipated us playing a little cleaner."

n Starting Sioux offensive lineman Brandon Quesenberry left the game with a leg injury late in the second quarter. "We expect him back," Mussman said. "He's a tough kid. If he can go, he'll go." The Sioux had no other apparent injuries.

n A scout from the Buffalo Bills was in the press box.

n Despite the shutout, Mussman said Drake had success moving the ball in the second half. "But the good news was that every opportunity Drake had we had someone step up and make a play, whether it was a pick or a sack."

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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