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Scoring three times more in the first half than the second, UND football eyeing changes

As the UND football program looks for ways to improve following a disappointing 25-21 loss at home against Idaho State last weekend, the Fighting Hawks are zeroing in on halftime.

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University of North Dakota's John Santiago celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Idaho State in the first half Saturday. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

As the UND football program looks for ways to improve following a disappointing 25-21 loss at home against Idaho State last weekend, the Fighting Hawks are zeroing in on halftime.

Idaho State blanked UND’s offense in the second half, a troubling trend as the Hawks travel to Northern Colorado for a 1 p.m. Saturday matchup in Greeley, Colo.

Through UND’s first four games of the season, the Hawks have had more than triple the scoring production in the first half than the second half. UND has scored 79 first-half points and 24 second-half points.

UND’s best quarter has been the first, with 35 points scored in that frame. UND’s worst? The Hawks have scored 10 points in the third quarter.

Against the Bengals, UND started the game 5-for-5 on third-down conversions. The rest of the way, however, UND was 1-for-10.

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“We’ve sure talked to our team about it and talked to the captains,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. “We’re going to look at this weekend and maybe change something up. It might be as simple as how we warm up for the half to get our guys more ready to go physically and ready to go mentally.

“This has been a repeated thing that has happened, so you have to take a look at it.”

Northern Colorado has started the season 0-4 and lost starting quarterback Jacob Knipp to a season-ending injury.

The Bears, though, have played a difficult schedule to open the year. UNC has played three teams ranked in the Top 25 and another receiving votes.

The Bears’ two home losses (McNeese State and Sacramento State) were each by a field goal.

With Knipp sidelined, UNC has turned to quarterback Keaton Mott, who has been 43-for-76 for 572 yards and five touchdowns and two interceptions in two games played.

UND has beat Northern Colorado the past five seasons. The Bears last beat UND in 2012, a 28-27 victory in Greeley.

The Hawks fell from their No. 22 ranking in the STATS FCS poll after the loss to Idaho State. UND is still receiving votes in the poll, which was released Monday, essentially landing at No. 30 in the voting.

Related Topics: UND FOOTBALL
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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