UND football notebook: Sioux running back depth now in question
Seconds after Mitch Sutton was hit, it was obvious the Sioux running back wouldn't be back. UND's tailback picked up 5 yards on his third carry of the day. But the sophomore was hit high by Northeastern State's Nick Dobler. Sutton got back on his...
Seconds after Mitch Sutton was hit, it was obvious the Sioux running back wouldn't be back.
UND's tailback picked up 5 yards on his third carry of the day. But the sophomore was hit high by Northeastern State's Nick Dobler. Sutton got back on his feet, took a few steps then hit the turf.
"He got hit pretty good," UND coach Chris Mussman said. "He couldn't stay on his feet. It doesn't take a doctor to figure out he probably has a concussion. And you never know how long it will take to come back from that."
Sutton's injury forced Mussman to make a move, one he didn't want to make.
The Sioux coach lifted the redshirt on true freshman Jake Miller, a former Bismarck High standout. Miller was on the field late in the first quarter and played a role in UND's 55-14 win Saturday in the Potato Bowl.
In fall camp, the Sioux believed Miller would play as a true freshman. But he didn't play at Idaho or Northern Illinois, leading to speculation that Miller would redshirt.
Now, Miller will become more involved in the Sioux offense.
"You'll see Jake in a more expanded role," Mussman said. "He'll be the 'Z' receiver in some of our sets and he'll be on our special teams as well."
The game had its fair share of big hits. They were delivered by both teams.
"They put some sticks on us," Mussman said. "They played hard and got after us."
Too many penalties
UND was penalized on the game's first play.
The yellow flags were thrown in UND's direction most of the day as the Sioux were penalized 10 times for 109 yards.
"You can't have that many penalties against teams at the FCS level," Mussman said. "We can't go into the Northwestern State game (UND's opponent this week), have that many penalties and give ourselves a chance to win."
There were a couple of penalties that resulted from aggressiveness. Those didn't bother the Sioux coach.
"I can live with some of those penalties," Mussman said. "When Dan Hendrickson got called for a facemask on a kickoff, he was being aggressive. But some of the other penalties, like lining up in the neutral zone, put ourselves in some bad positions. They were selfish penalties."
Hardin's big plays
Greg Hardin scored on an 85-yard touchdown pass a week ago at Northern Illinois.
He caught a 19-yard scoring pass Saturday against Northeastern State and also scored on a 63-yard reverse.
He's becoming UND's big-play threat.
"I want to make big plays for the team," said the redshirt freshman. "I just want to do whatever it takes to win."
On his 63-yard scoring run, Hardin picked up a big block from running back Josh Murray, who made light of his assist.
"That's probably the only time you'll see a block from me," Murray quipped. "Hopefully, I'll get the block of the week. I was just trying to get Greg to the outside."
Notes and quotes
- Northeastern State's first touchdown was scored by Ben Randle, who caught a 7-yard pass from Cale Fulps. Randle is the nephew of NFL Hall of Fame member John Randle.
- UND won its eighth straight Potato Bowl.
- UND linebacker and special teams member Dan Hendrickson on delivering big hits on kickoffs: "It's maximum effort. I think it's one of the most fun plays in football. You give it all you've got and you have a chance to hit somebody."
- UND linebacker Curtis Dublanko did not play because of a shoulder injury. But UND receivers Jarrel Davis and Jon Heimler did suit up. Both were hurt in fall camp.
- Two Sioux offensive linemen, Darren DeNeui and Connor McKendry, both have spent time practicing at tight end.
- Hendrickson has made nine tackles in back-to-back games against Northern Illinois and Northeastern State.