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UND FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: 5 things you might not have noticed in UND’s 38-13 win over Northern Colorado

UND running back James Johannesson surges for yardage against the Northern Colorado defense on Saturday in Greeley. Photo/Russ Hons, UND Athletics
1. UND played without Santiago

GREELEY, Colo. -- UND’s dominant rushing performance against Northern Colorado, which sparked a 38-13 win at Nottingham Field in Greeley, Colo., came without star running back John Santiago.

Santiago suffered a knee injury last Saturday against Idaho State.

He traveled to Greeley and went through warm-ups with a knee brace, but he didn’t play in the game.

“He’s really tough,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. “I’ve never been around a tougher guy. If he can go, he’ll go. We warmed him up, but we felt the best thing for our football team was a day off. Hopefully he can get better during our open week and we can have him for our next game.”

Santiago had done considerable damage against UNC in his career, but the Fighting Hawks received 141 rushing yards from James Johannesson and 123 from Brady Oliveira.

2. UND’s pass rush was dominant

The UND defense came in with a reputation for a strong pass rush.

UNC entered with a reputation for not protecting quarterbacks well.

That combination turned out to play exactly as the Fighting Hawks had hoped.

UND finished with five sacks and never allowed the Bears an opportunity to stretch the field in the passing game.

UND defensive end Mason Bennett had another strong game.

He came into the weekend tied for the FCS lead with five sacks. He had another one against Northern Colorado. The school record is 10 by defensive coordinator Eric Schmidt in 2001.

3. Ketteringham was physical

UND quarterback Nate Ketteringham was flagged for a personal foul against the Bears.

During a James Johannesson run in the first half, Ketteringham dove head first into the pile to try to aid Johannesson.

Ketteringham also threw a strong block during a wide receiver reverse to Noah Wanzek.

The UND quarterback also was tangled up with a UNC defender following his lone interception of the game.

He drew a personal foul call on Northern Colorado on the play.

4. New blood

UND was able to play a handful of players for the first time against Northern Colorado.

Injured outside linebacker Austin Gordon played for the first time this season.

True freshman running back Otis Weah received his first carries of his career, as he made the travel roster for the first time.

Weah’s first carry went 18 yards into the red zone. He took the next carry 3 yards in for a score.

The rookie from Moorhead could still redshirt this season. A new rule allows true freshmen to play up to four games before having to pull a redshirt season.

Weah finished with five carries for 28 yards.

5. UND’s young special teamers shine

UND’s punting and kicking game have been a roller coaster this season as the Hawks deal with freshmen at long snapper, punter and kicker.

Kicker Brady Leach hit a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter for his career long. The kick capped a nearly nine-minute drive to open the game.

Punter Cade Peterson also had his best game in green and white. Peterson had a 50-yard punt and pinned four inside the 20.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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