UND expects Nate Ketteringham to start against Eastern Washington

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Under defensive pressure, UND quarterback Nate Ketteringham searches for an open receiver during Saturday's home football game against Drake. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

For the first time since the season opener, the UND football program expects its No. 1 quarterback to start on Saturday.

Senior captain Nate Ketteringham, who injured his knee in the third quarter of a 47-7 win over Drake in Week 1, is anticipated to make the start at 4:05 p.m. against Eastern Washington at Roos Field in Cheney.

The Fighting Hawks, 2-1, are coming off a bye week following a 27-23 win over Sam Houston State.

"(Ketteringham) got better every day," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said of the bye week. "Not only getting back to close to 100 percent, but he was pretty rusty and hadn't played or thrown or been on the field with the rest of the guys. We felt he took a good step each and every day.

"This morning was so much better than a week ago. We're really pleased with his progress. Nate looks like he's ready to go. He had to make some progress (last week), but we feel like he's ready to go Saturday."


The Fighting Hawks, who were ranked No. 25 in Monday's FCS Coaches Poll and still unranked in the STATS Media Poll, will play a reeling Eastern Washington team still searching for its first Division I win. The Eagles, who played in the FCS National Championship a year ago, lost to Idaho on Saturday after falling behind 28-0 at halftime.

EWU (1-3) has dropped to No. 21 in the coaches and media polls. The UND-EWU game will be aired on Midco Sports Network.

UND's weekly depth chart listed Ketteringham as the starting quarterback, followed by true freshman Tommy Schuster, who saw his first college action during the win over Sam Houston.

Schuster was 17-for-33 for 165 yards and a touchdown. He filled in for senior Andrew Zimmerman, who was 2-for-7 for 17 yards and a touchdown before exiting late in the first quarter with an ankle injury.

The return of Zimmerman could be important, if for no other reason than to protect Schuster's redshirt status. Beginning last season, freshmen are able to play in up to four games without losing a year of eligibility.

Schweigert doesn't know when Zimmerman will be back.


"We really don't have a timeline on Andrew right now," Schweigert said. "We're hoping to find out more and more and see how he can progress but right now we have no timeline on when we get him back."

Ketteringham, the 6-foot-4, 203-pound San Diego native, was 19-for-25 for 152 yards and a touchdown before being injured against Drake.

Before suffering the injury, Ketteringham was entering his second season as the starter for the Hawks. He was 158-for-291 for 1,845 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last year as the Hawks went 6-5 and missed the FCS playoffs.

Ketteringham sat out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules. In his first two college seasons, he started 16 games at quarterback for Sacramento State, where he threw for 3,391 yards and 24 touchdowns.

UND had a couple of other changes outside of quarterback on Monday's weekly depth chart. At right tackle, UND now lists redshirt freshman Donny Ventrelli as the starter. Ventrelli's playing time steadily increased early this season, and he's now jumped previous starter Sean Russo, a junior.

At safety, junior Hayden Galvin is listed as the starter. Galvin had a strong showing against Sam Houston, as he filled in for injured starter Leonard Nelson IV.

Cornerback Evan Holm, an expected starter for the Hawks this year, has missed the first three games with an injury and has been taken off the two-deep depth chart for the first time.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

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, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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