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UND with questions at quarterback entering Northern Colorado game

The UND football program heads to Greeley, Colo., on Saturday with a seven-game winning streak and an undefeated Big Sky Conference record on the line.

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Ryan Bartels hands the ball off to Brady Oliveira in the second half against Weber State. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The UND football program heads to Greeley, Colo., on Saturday with a seven-game winning streak and an undefeated Big Sky Conference record on the line.

Who will be under center against Northern Colorado is still anybody's guess.

Keaton Studsrud, Ryan Bartels and Brad Heidlebaugh will be evaluated this week, UND coach Bubba Schweigert said Monday at his weekly press conference at the High Performance Center.

Studsrud, who has thrown for more than 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, injured his throwing shoulder on a designed bootleg in the third quarter of UND's 27-19 victory over Weber State on Saturday at the Alerus Center.

"He's getting better," Schweigert said. "He's pretty sore. We'll just have to see how it plays out throughout the week. He's recovered quickly in the past, so that keeps us somewhat optimistic."

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Heidlebaugh, a redshirt freshman from Rugby, N.D., and Bartels, an experienced senior, saw action against Weber. Heidlebaugh's first collegiate pass went for a touchdown, as he hit Noah Wanzek with a wobbly pass on fourth-and-goal from the 2.

That would be Heidlebaugh's last play, though. UND went with Bartels the rest of the way. Bartels, who has seven starts in his career, was 2-for-5 passing for 13 yards against Weber.

Schweigert said he will evaluate both quarterbacks this week at practice.

"We'll take a look at it and how the guys practice and how we feel we have to play against Northern Colorado," Schweigert said. "The decision hasn't been made yet and will be played out throughout the week."

Northern Colorado's defense is giving up 36.9 points per game. The Bears are ninth in the league in stopping the run, giving up 208.9 yards rushing per game. UNC is 12th in the league in defending the pass, giving up 279.1 yards passing per game.

"We have our offensive package we need to run and we need to study their defense and see what we can do best," Schweigert said. "Nothing will change with how we approach (the game)."

UND wide receiver Noah Wanzek said the team is confident in both Bartels and Heidlebaugh, if called upon.

"We'll attack them running, but I think we'll pass a lot, too," Wanzek said. "I don't think we'll change a lot."

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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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