Team ready to win

ROADTRIP Football team looks to claim victory over Idaho State on Saturday.

Following a difficult loss during its Big Sky Conference opener last weekend, the UND football team will travel to Pocatello, Idaho on Saturday for its first road trip of the 2013 campaign against the Idaho State Bengals.

ISU (2-2) will host UND (1-3) after coming off of a conference opening loss against UC Davis last Saturday.

The game will be the second between the two teams in the past six seasons as North Dakota beat the Bengals in 2008 in Pocatello to pick up its first win at the Division I level. The last Big Sky road game the Green and White won came last year on Sept. 22 against Sacramento State, a contest that UND came away with 35-13.

North Dakota will come into the game needing its offense to overcome a Bengals defense that has allowed an average 25.8 points per game, while the Green and White’s defense has allowed 40.8.

Although UND has relied on its passing game through the first few games of the year, ISU has eclipsed North Dakota’s production in the air — averaging 306 passing yards per game compared to UND’s 272.2. With an accumulative 1,224 total passing yards, ISU also has a slight advantage over the Green and White’s 1,089.

ISU Quarterback Justin Arias has had a very productive 2013 campaign — sompleting 102 of 182 passes for 1,224 yards and five touchdowns. UND will look to counter Arias with a potent freshman quarterback duo of its own in Joe Mollberg and Ryan Bartels, who have shared responsibilities on the field to this point.

Final decision

North Dakota’s quarterback rotation will come to an end by this Saturday as UND coach Chris Mussman announced he will name a starter.

“At a certain point, we have to make a decision,” Mussman said. “We can’t keep going back and forth. That’s not fair to the kids or the rest of the team.”

Mollberg has taken the majority of snaps for North Dakota this season and has completed 46 of 73 passes for 614 yards and four touchdowns, while Bartels has contributed his share in completing 23 of 36 passes for 390 yards and two touchdown passes.

All eyes will be on senior running back Jake Miller, who will enter Saturday’s game with 1,945 career rushing yards, just shy of the 2,000 yard mark. Miller will attempt to reach the plateau after coming off of a 93 rushing yard performance against Montana State. Miller also has placed himself sixth on the UND all-time career rushing touchdowns list with 22, after picking up four rushing touchdowns this season.

Receiver Greg Hardin will enter Saturday’s game after being held without a reception for the first time in his collegiate career last week against Montana State. Hardin trails former North Dakota receiver Weston Dressler by 73 yards for UND’s all-time receiving yards record. Hardin has averaged 104 yards per game this season after hauling in 17 receptions for 416 yards.

Hardin, along with Miller and his chase for 2,000 rushing yards, will look to make Saturday’s game a memorable one as both players look to cement themselves among UND’s all-time football greats.

Saturday’s game will take place in Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho. Kick-off time is set for 2:05 p.m. mountain time and 3:05 p.m. central time. Fans can watch the game for free at

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