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UND FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: UND pass rush fuels win over Weber State

UND safety Cole Reyes might have been the star of the game with two interceptions in his anticipated return to the lineup after missing two weeks with an injury, but the junior captain was quick to deflect some credit.

UND safety Cole Reyes might have been the star of the game with two interceptions in his anticipated return to the lineup after missing two weeks with an injury, but the junior captain was quick to deflect some credit.

"I thanked (the defensive line) right after the game," Reyes said. "They stepped up in the second half and you saw the results."

UND registered a season-high seven sacks in beating Weber State 27-19 on Saturday afternoon at the Alerus Center.

The seven sacks are the most since UND had seven against Stony Brook in 2014.

"I would have brought more pressure, too, because we didn't do a good job handling it," Weber coach Jay Hill said.

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UND defensive end Drew Greely registered 2.5 sacks, including one from the blind side in the fourth quarter that jarred the ball loose from Weber quarterback Jadrian Clark on third-and-30, a down-and-distance established thanks to a Dylan Bakker sack on second-and-20.

"It was a lot of want-to," Greely said. "Our defensive coordinator and defensive line coach said it was up to us, to apply pressure and make it easier on our back row."

Along with Greely's big day, freshman Mason Bennett had 1.5 sacks and Bakker, Jake Disterhaupt and Brian Labat also had sacks.

"It means a lot," Greely said. "It's a big deal for our program. We're taking it one game at a time."

UND entered the game with just 15 sacks, an average of less than 2.0 per game.

The pass rush helped UND intercept three passes to push the season total to 16. That's the most in a season since the 2005 UND team had 21 interceptions.

Stout run defense

On Oct. 1, UND gave up 202 rushing yards to the Big Sky Conference rushing leader during a victory against Cal Poly.

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Since, UND's defense has given up just 227 rushing yards the rest of the month, which includes games against Sacramento State, Southern Utah, Idaho State and Weber State.

Weber's longest run of the day was by run-oriented backup quarterback Stefan Cantwell, who had a 12-yard carry. He led the Wildcats with six carries for 15 yards.

The pressure on Clark helped UND's statistics of allowing 12 yards on 31 carries. Clark had 10 carries for minus-29 yards.

Notes and quotes

-- UND backup quarterback Brad Heidlebaugh, a Rugby, N.D., native, threw a touchdown on his first career pass. It was the first time for UND since now-senior Ryan Bartels threw a 75-yarder to Greg Hardin on his first career pass against Valparaiso in 2013.

-- Weber State coach Jay Hill on the Big Sky Conference picture: "UND is definitely the front-runner."

-- UND coach Bubba Schweigert on electing go for it on fourth down with Heidlebaugh in the game: "It felt like a good gamble there. If you don't get it, they have to go 98 yards."

-- Cole Reyes on the loss of Keaton Studsrud: "Late in the game, we lost, in my opinion, our most important player in Keaton."

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-- UND had a huge advantage in penalty yards. Weber was called for nine penalties for 98 yards, while UND was flagged for three calls for 19 yards.

-- Dylan Bakker tied a career-high with 14 tackles.

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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