UND football notebook: Sioux come up short on reviews
DeKALB, Ill. -- Did the ball break the plane? UND coach Chris Mussman thought it did. Not once, but twice. A key moment in Northern Illinois' 23-17 win over UND on Saturday night came late in the first quarter when the Sioux had a third-and-goal ...
DeKALB, Ill. -- Did the ball break the plane?
UND coach Chris Mussman thought it did. Not once, but twice.
A key moment in Northern Illinois' 23-17 win over UND on Saturday night came late in the first quarter when the Sioux had a third-and-goal from inside the Huskies' 1.
Quarterback Jake Landry tried a sneak on third down. After the officials untangled players from the goal line, they signled touchdown.
NIU quarterback Jerry Kill challenged the ruling, and after a video review of the play, the officials ruled the ball did not break the plane.
On fourth-and-goal from the same spot, Sioux running back Josh Murray tried to leap over the pile. He was met head on by NIU defensive back Tommy Davis. Murray was ruled short of the goal line.
The play again was reviewed. Again, the Sioux came up short on the ruling.
"I thought both were in," UND coach Chris Mussman said. "The kids said it was in. But that's part of the game."
UND lost another challenge when Dominique Hawkins fumbled a kickoff return after the Huskies went ahead 23-14 on Chandler Harnish's 40-yard scoring run.
Hawkins third TD
Dominique Hawkins scored UND's first points of the season with his 63-yard interception return late in the first half.
The play cut NIU's lead to 16-7 and it gave the Sioux some much-needed momentum.
"We needed to make something happen on defense," Hawkins said. "The coaches kept harping about playing more aggressive on the outside perimeter and they were running out routes for most of the first half. So I just sat on it, picked it off and took it to the house."
It was Hawkins' third interception return for a touchdown.
Hardin's big game
Greg Hardin is becoming UND's go-to receiver.
The redshirt freshman from Omaha scored on an 85-yard pass play from Jake Landry in the third quarter.
Hardin finished with 171 yards on six catches.
"We did the little things," Hardin said. "We took care of the ball."
UND coach Chris Mussman also praised Hardin's game.
"We're starting to see some of our weapons develop," Mussman said. "We're not quite there yet."
UND running back Mitch Sutton had quite the support group at the game. Nearly 100 family members and friends made the four-hour drive from Stevens Point, Wis., to watch the Sioux sophomore.
The Stevens Point Area High School football team also made the trip to watch its former running back.
"It was a lot of fun having everyone here," said Sutton, who rushed for 24 yards.
DeKalb's close proximity to Wisconsin made for an easy trip for a lot of Sioux fans with ties to the program. Wisconsin is one of UND's main recruiting states.
Notes and quotes
n Sioux co-defensive coordinator John Kelling did not make the trip. He missed last week's game at Idaho as well. He was hospitalized with a stapf infection. Kelling is now out of the hospital.
n NIU running back Chad Spann on his 79-yard scoring run to open the game: "It got the sideline pumped, got the defense pumped. That's what we need."
n NIU linebacker Alex Cube on the Sioux: "We came out fast but they didn't lie down. Our goal was to come out fast, hit them in the mouth early. A lot of teams will lay down, especially the lower-level teams. But they didn't. They kept fighting back and that's part of football."
n After five turnovers at Idaho in UND's season opener, UND committed two turnovers.