North Dakota falls to Bobcats

FOOTBALL UND suffers 63-20 loss Saturday afternoon in the Alerus Center.

UND linebacker Otto Brian chases Montana State running back Cody Kirk for the ball Saturday afternoon in the Alerus Center. Photo by Keisuke Yoshimura

UND’s football team’s woes continued through Saturday afternoon after losing a lopsided match to Montana State, 63-20.

The game marked the start of Big Sky conference play for the 2013 campaign for the Green and White (1-3 overall). However, the Bobcats (3-2 overall) were in control throughout the entire contest Saturday afternoon in the Alerus Center.

“It was disappointing,” UND coach Chris Mussman said of the loss. “We turned the ball over and didn’t come to play.”

MSU running back Cody Kirk was unstoppable as he rushed for five touchdowns, while collecting 103 yards off of 12 carries. The Bobcats’ offense amassed 592 yards of total offense in the contest, while MSU’s defense suffocated the Green and White’s offensive game for just 250 total yards.

UND’s air attack duo of Joe Mollberg and Ryan Bartels was held in check by MSU’s secondary as the freshman pair were held to just 85 passing yards between the two. Bartels went just six for 13 in the air with an interception while Mollberg went just two for eight with an interception.

North Dakota All-American receiver Greg Hardin was shut down by the Bobcats and went the entire game without a reception — a first in his collegiate career. UND captain Blair Townsend led all North Dakota receivers with four receptions for 40 yards, while Kenny Golladay had two of his own receptions for 36 yards.

Senior running back Jake Miller fought to keep UND in the game, as he scored early in the second quarter to cut Montana State’s lead to 14-7. However, that was the closest North Dakota would be throughout the game. Miller finished the match with 93 yards on the ground.

By the second half, Montana State was in control of a 42-7 lead, one that North Dakota struggled to answer. UND would pick up two touchdowns in the second half. Receiver Jameer Jackson hauled in a four yard pass for a touchdown while Alex Hickel picked up an MSU fumble and returned it 13 yards for the score.

Next week’s game will mark the Green and White’s first road game of the 2013 campaign at Idaho State.

David Butz is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]