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Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

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UND Falls in Boise

UND+Falls+in+Boise
Russell Hons

For the third year in a row, the UND Football team squared off against an FBS program. The Fighting Hawks lost 48-24 to Utah State in 2021 and were defeated by a score of 38-17 at the hands of Nebraska in 2022. On Saturday, the Fighting Hawks played on the iconic blue turf of Albertsons Stadium, home of the Boise State Broncos. Unfortunately for UND, this game was similar to the team’s past FBS experiences. 

Featured on FOX’s FS1, the Fighting Hawks kicked off against the Broncos at 11 am, the earliest kickoff of the season for either team. Both teams wound up punting on their opening drives. Boise State found the endzone first, with a grueling 12-play drive resulting in an 8-yard touchdown run from quarterback Taylen Green. 

On the following UND drive, Tommy Schuster (Sr.) connected with Bo Belquist (Sr.) for a 41-yard reception. The Fighting Hawks would find themselves in a goal-to-go situation later in the drive, and Offensive Coordinator called Quincy Vaughn’s (Sr.) number on the one-yard line. Vaughn would bully his way into the endzone, getting UND on the scoreboard. After a missed Brady Stevens (Gr.) PAT, the Broncos would lead 7-6. 

After another Broncos score, the Fighting Hawks would have one of the many errors, which would cost them the game. With a few hard-nosed Gaven Ziebarth (So.) runs and a magical Schuster scramble-into-completion, UND was driving towards the redzone late in the second quarter. The Boise State pass rush got into the backfield on a Schuster drop back and was able to strip sack the UND signal caller. After the strip sack, the Broncos found the endzone again, giving themselves a 20-6 lead at halftime. 

The Broncos would grow their lead to 28-6 in the third quarter, and things began to look grim for the Fighting Hawks. With a 6-yard Wesley Eliodor (5th) touchdown catch followed by a Luke Skokna 3-yard (Sr.) touchdown run, there was hope for the Hawks.  

Trailing 28-18 with the ball, UND needed another touchdown drive to keep the comeback alive. The Broncos were able to force a three-and-out and would take the ball 58 yards for a gut-wrenching touchdown drive. From that point, the Broncos wouldn’t let the Fighting Hawks back into the game. Boise State would score another touchdown, winning the game 42-18.  

Although the scoreboard will show a blowout loss, the Fighting Hawks were able to run the ball effectively. A few keys and avoidable errors scattered throughout the game would ultimately cost the Fighting Hawks the chance to make headlines with an FCS/FBS upset bid. 

Schuster completed 17 of his 29 throws on Saturday, totaling 142 yards through the air, along with a touchdown pass. Schuster fumbled twice, losing one for his first turnover of the season. 

Ziebarth and Skokna led the Fighting Hawks’ backfield on Saturday. Ziebarth with 13 carries for 35 yards and Skokna with 10 carries for 48 yards. Ziebarth fumbled once, losing the ball on a turnover. 

Belquist was the feature receiver yet again for UND, hauling in 8 receptions for 63 yards. Jack Wright (Jr.) brought in 27 yards with 2 receptions, and Red Wilson (Sr.) racked up 26 yards on 3 catches. 

The Fighting Hawks will have a bye week following their trip to Boise. UND will travel to Brookings, South Dakota on September 30th to play the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, the defending FCS National Champions.  

 

Garrett Webber is a Dakota Student General Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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