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Tom Miller: UND Spring Game takeaways

UND quarterback Keaton Studsrud throws downfield as Mike Thingstad defends Friday in the spring game. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald


The UND football team wrapped up spring ball with the annual Spring Game on Friday night at High Performance Center. I covered the event and wrote this up for the Herald, but I figured I’d provide some thoughts on how I saw things.

  • First and foremost, UND needs to stop downplaying the Spring Game and treating it like a glorified practice. If nearly 1,000 fans are going to be in the HPC, you need to take better advantage. It was admittedly pretty boring, and I usually don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to keep my attention. Marketing people need to step up and overrule the football people. Maybe that’s Bill Chaves in Year 2. Do we really need to see half-speed punting drills? Would it have killed anyone to mix in a flea-flicker or even just a couple of deep balls? I’m not saying ramp up the contact, but there are a lot of ways to get people walking out of the HPC thinking UND football is something they want to be around.
  • One nice positive of spring ball was that UND will exit it mainly healthy. A few minor injuries here and there, but UND should have everyone ready to go for fall camp. I haven’t heard any follow-up news, but there could be a little concern with James Johannesson clearly receiving some concussion protocol on the sideline late in the game.
  • No real surprises came out of the spring game as far as concerns. We knew the offensive line would be thin and Nathan Nguon was banged up on Wednesday so didn’t play Friday. Fighting Hawks need that group, specifically the depth, to get better this summer, either through development or recruiting.

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