#7 MONTANA GRIZZLIES (3-1, 1-0 BSC) @ North Dakota (2-3, 0-1 BSC)

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 – 12:30 pm MT

The Alerus Center (13,500) – Grand Forks, ND

We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2014 season – week #6.  Last week, Montana demolished Northern Colorado early and cruised to a 38-13 victory.  This week, the Griz travel to Grand Forks, ND for the 3rd-straight year, and will face a much-improved North Dakota defense.

  • Head Coach: Kyle “Bubba” Schweigert, 1st Season at UND (2-3)
  • Conference: Big Sky Conference (BSC)
  • 2014 MVFC Preseason Poll: 10/11 Place
  • Overall Record: 624-386-30
  • 2013 Record: 3-8 (2-6 MVFC) 10th Place
  • 2014 Record: 2-3 (0-1 MVFC) Tied-7th Place
  • Series History: Montana leads the series at 12-8-1.
  • Last Meeting: Sept. 14, 2013 – Montana won 55-17 in Grand Forks, ND.

What to know about North Dakota

North Dakota has been a member of the Big Sky Conference since 2012 when it left the Great West Conference.

North Dakota Season to Date:

  • Week 1: North Dakota (0-1) @ San Jose State (1-0)
    • San Jose State 42, North Dakota 10
    • Box Score
  • Week 2: North Dakota (1-1) vs Robert Morris (0-2)
    • North Dakota 16, Robert Morris 13
    • Box Score
  • Week 3: North Dakota (1-2) @ Missouri State (2-1)
    • Missouri State 38, North Dakota 0
    • Box Score
  • Week 4: North Dakota (2-2) vs Stony Brook (1-3)
  • Week 5: North Dakota (2-3) @ Montana State (3-2)
    • Montana State 29, North Dakota 18
    • Box Score


Offensive Preview:

North Dakota hasn’t been very impressive on offense to this point on the season, and will have a difficult time scoring points against the Griz defense.  So far, UND has averaged only 223 yards/game through 5 games.  UND’s offense is led by Sophomore Joe Mollberg.  This season, Mollberg has thrown for a total of 652 yards, 3 TDs and 5 interceptions, averaging only 130 yards per game in the air.  UND’s running game isn’t any better.

Through five games this season, UND has only averaged 90 yards of rushing on the ground.  Unlike the Griz, North Dakota doesn’t appear to have a go-to running back to carry the ball down the field as they’ve rotated between 4 different running backs in their five games.  The last two weeks though, the nod was given to Kyle Norberg who has rushed a total of 126 yards in 2 games and averaging only 25 yards/game, leading the team in rushing.

Defensive Preview:

North Dakota’s defense has taken huge strides in improvements from the 2013 season and is regarded as one of the better defenses in the Big Sky.  UND’s defense has allowed only 341 total yards/game, holding teams to 199 yards in the air and 142 yards on the ground.  Of course, it should be noted that two of UND’s wins and strong defensive performances have come from winless (0-4) Robert Morris and (1-3) Stony Brook.  The defense will be a step up from Northern Colorado, but Montana should be able to take care of business if it gets rolling early as it did last week early in the 1st quarter.


Team Comparisons:


Montana – 339 yards/game, 170 Passing, 169 Rushing

North Dakota – 223 yards/game, 133 Passing, 90 Rushing


Montana – 339 yards/game, 171 Passing, 167 Rushing

North Dakota – 341 yards/game, 199 Passing, 142 Rushing

Points Scored vs Points Allowed:

Montana – 136 PF, 86 PA

North Dakota – 57 PF, 125 PA



This game won’t be a blowout like last season’s 55-17 Griz win, but the Griz should win this one comfortably.  With Montana’s defense playing great all season, North Dakota will struggle to put points on the board.  Even though UND’s defense also shows to have similar statistics as the Griz, those stats have been padded by playing two very weak teams in Robert Morris and Stony Brook.  If Montana’s offense can get off to a quick start again and keep the foot on the gas, the Griz will cruise to another victory.  If Montana struggles on offense, North Dakota will hang around, but Montana should still leave Grand Forks with a close “W” in the win column.




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