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UND FOOTBALL: Fighting Hawks ranked No. 24 in FCS

UND football coach Bubba Schweigert was asked about his team's three-game winning streak and latest rankings in the STATS FCS poll. "Are we ranked?" Schweigert asked, probably in jest. Indeed, UND

University of North Dakota tight end Luke Mathewson (45) and Travis Toivonen celebrate in the end zone with quarterback Keaton Studsrud after Studsrud's touchdown against Cal Poly at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
University of North Dakota tight end Luke Mathewson (45) and Travis Toivonen celebrate in the end zone with quarterback Keaton Studsrud after Studsrud's touchdown against Cal Poly at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
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UND football coach Bubba Schweigert was asked about his team's three-game winning streak and latest rankings in the STATS FCS poll.

"Are we ranked?" Schweigert asked, probably in jest.

Indeed, UND has returned to the Top 25 poll with a No. 24 ranking released Monday.

"We don't even worry about that," Schweigert said. "It has nothing to do with our preparation. You asked about the last five weeks; right now, I don't know what happened the last five weeks. We have to prepare for Sacramento State and that's the focus and that's when we play our best. Right now, we have to focus on Tuesday's practice."

UND, riding a three-game winning streak, will travel to Sacramento State for an 8 p.m. Saturday kickoff at Hornet Stadium.

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The Fighting Hawks, 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Sky Conference, beat previously ranked No. 16 Cal Poly last Saturday 31-24 at the Alerus Center.

Cal Poly is still ranked ahead of UND at No. 21 in the new poll.

Four Big Sky Conference football teams are ranked in the latest poll. Eastern Washington is at No. 4, while Montana is at No. 10.

UND doesn't face EWU or Montana this year.

The Fighting Hawks opened the year ranked No. 19 before falling to No. 25 after season-opening losses at Stony Brook (13-9) and FBS member Bowling Green (27-26).

"All the rankings are cool, and as a team, we appreciate it," UND senior offensive lineman Michael Coe said. "But our goal is to win the Big Sky and it doesn't matter where we're ranked."

UND running back John Santiago, who was hurt on the second play of UND's win over Poly and didn't return, is considered day-to-day with an ankle injury.

"It's better than we thought it was going to be," Schweigert said. "So we'll see where it goes. We need to make a good decision there at gametime. But he'll be back this year at some time."

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The Fighting Hawks also had to shuffle the offensive line late in the game against Cal Poly when center Patric Rooney suffered an injury.

"He's day by day. That's where we're at," Schweigert said. "We know he's going to be back. When? We don't know."

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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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