Last night, UND used a strong second half to pull away from an upstart Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils’ squad. They had some good things, things to build on, and questions answered going forward. How they build on these things will go a long way to determining their fate next weekend against FBS powerhouse the University of Washington. The Fighting Hawks travel to take on the Huskies next weekend.
Starting quarterback Nate Ketteringham had a stupendous first game. He made the majority of his throws and absent a few drops, his final stat line (19-30 225 yards and 3 TD’s) could have been even better. He utilized seven different Fighting Hawks in a diverse passing attack. That passing attack was also bolstered by Ketteringham’s ability to scramble as he eluded pressure and ran for 25 yards on six carries with a QB sneak touchdown.
The display of speed and versatility that Coach Danny Freund’s Jets (wideouts) put on was fun to watch. Izzy Adeoti (3 catches on 40 yafds) and Garett Maag (First College Football Touchdown) had multiple chances and were fun to watch. Adeoti finished last season with 93 receiving yards and already has almost half his total after one game. Izzy’s speed allows UND to utilize him on multiple jet sweep and quick strike looks.
Things to Build Upon
While the UND defense had seven sacks on the night and pressured MVSU QB Chris Fowler at-will, the secondary was shown to have some things to sure up. The Delta Devils utilized their veteran receiving corps to make quick plays on the periphery that provided a lot of their offense. UND gave up 263 yards in the air on 22 completions. UND needs to figure out more max coverage packages to compensate against Washington. They will not be able to bring five or six players at will like they could last night.
On special teams, while Cade Peterson handled punting last night, it would not shock me to see graduate transfer Warren Taylor get some looks as well. Peterson had two punts with a long of 26 yards. While he won the punting competition, no job is ever safe on a week-to-week basis with this staff. In addition, UND freshman kicker Brady Leach missed two field goals from under 40 yards. The Fighting Hawks will improve in both areas going forward.
At full health, the UND defense will force most teams to change their style a bit to move the ball. While MVSU is a pass first team, they had to rely on it all game because the strong run defense of UND limited them to -27 yards on 26 attempts.
Nate Ketteringham looks to be the real deal. He made every throw presented, and looked calm and efficient directing the offense.
The running back trio of UND is still their biggest asset on offense. John Santiago, Brady Oliveira and James Johannesson will determine how this offense goes this season. UND implemented a new full-house formation with all of them and ran a lot of successful looks out of them all night.