Stage set for Saturday

FOOTBALL: Saturday’s Potato Bowl gives team a chance to claim another victory.

Campus has been buzzing with all sorts of activities during these first two weeks, including the upcoming Potato Bowl this weekend.

With UND’s recent win over Valparaiso last week, the Potato Bowl against South Dakota State University will be looked at with even more excitement. Many players stood out during Thursday’s game, but one player to watch at the Potato Bowl will be senior wide receiver Greg Hardin.

Hardin is an All-American and only the seventh player in UND’s history to reach 30 touchdowns in his career. Hardin thought it was “pretty cool” to have his name on that list in UND’s history books, alongside athletes who have left their mark on history.

He had two touchdowns in the game against Valparaiso. In his four years at UND, Hardin has received many honors and awards including a spot on the All-Big Sky first team last season. Hardin also received the award for National Kick Return of the Week for his touchdown return last week, he shared the honor along with three other players this past week.

Hardin is a Nebraska native majoring in Accounting and has climbed the UND stat charts in many categories including having the second spot in receiving yards with 2,430. He is also second on the list of career receptions with 154. He will be expected to step up even more than last week to help carry UND past SDSU.

“Go out there and compete as hard as we can and get the ‘W’,” Hardin said.

As one of the seniors on the team this year, Hardin knows the word “responsibilities” well and he says that’s really the only thing that separates the freshmen from the seniors on the team. That responsibility also means leadership, and Hardin, along with the rest of the team, are looking to get the win this weekend.

The Potato Bowl is one of the games many on campus looks forward to because it’s usually against a rival, such as SDSU, and it’s a whole week of celebrations. Many of the players that performed well in last week’s game will be expected to do the same in the Potato Bowl and continue throughout the season, Hardin being one of them.

UND has won the Potato Bowl 10 straight years and hopes to continue that streak Saturday as SDSU makes it’s first appearance in Grand Forks since 2001, which was also the year the Alerus Center opened.

UND does have the edge in the all-time meetings between the two teams as it plays against each other for the 85th time. The SDSU Jackrabbits had a playoff appearance last season for the first time since 2009 and their season record was 9-4. The Potato Bowl is a big deal to UND, as it has won the last 17 of 18 and 10 straight Potato Bowls. However, apart from the Potato Bowl being a football game, it is also a potato celebration, with festivities such as a french fry feed and community events.

UND will take on SDSU in the annual Potato Bowl tomorrow with kickoff at 6 p.m. A parade will take place on Saturday morning prior to the football game at 6 p.m. at the Alerus Center.

Mariah Holland is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at