AND Football Week 12 Foundation: How to Watch, Injuries and Matchups with North Dakota State – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – The home of the Fargodome in North Dakota can take on opponents fueled by noise that can make it difficult to call plays and make quick getaways.

AND will enter the hostile atmosphere at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with one of the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s recent offensive lines.

The good news for the Fighting Hawks? AND was awarded for the fewest penalties per game in the entire FCS.

AND an average of 3.33 penalties per game.

“Our boys have done a good job of finding the right attitude and controlling what we can control,” said UND coach Bubba Schweigert.

That clean play has allowed the Fighting Hawks to become the No. 5 nationally in possession.

AND has an average possession time of around 34 minutes this season. The Bison have traditionally done the same and are ranked 32nd in possession time nationally this season.

With clean play and long drives, it’s no surprise that both UND and NDSU rank highly in third-down conversions nationally.

The bison are #3 in the FCS with a conversion rate of 53.9 while AND is #15 with a conversion rate of 46.8.

A year ago, AND started the league game against North Dakota State. It was a time when both teams found an identity.

This year the teams meet at the end of the regular season.

“If you look across the country, a lot of places end up with this type of game,” Schweigert said. “If it was my choice, but it’s not my choice, I would say we should do it every year.”

No. 16 AND in the state of North Dakota No. 4

Kicking off: 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Fargodome.

TV: WDAY, Dom Izzo Play-by-Play, Kyle Emanuel Analyst, Logan Campbell Sideline.

and

Midco Sports, Brian Shawn Play-by-Play, Ryan Kasowski Analyst.

Radio: 96.1 FM (Jack Michaels on play-by-play, Tom Dosch analyst, Paul Ralston on the sidelines)

Stream: WDAY Sports Plus and ESPN Plus

Injuries: AND’s most recent injury came before last week’s game against South Dakota when Peyton Lotysz went down in practice. That pushed Danny Carroll back onto the grid. Carroll started earlier this season until the redshirt newcomer was plagued by snapping issues. Other season-ending injuries for AND include linebacker Caden White and safety Sammy Fort. Long-injured running back Luke Skokna has started to train more and has seen action from special teams over the past two weeks.

The Fighting Hawks must Holding up quarterback Tommy Schuster. The Hawks have given up 22 sacks this year, and it’s only been an issue in two losses — Southern Illinois and South Dakota State. Schuster was sacked a total of 12 times in those two games. Schuster is best when lengthening plays, so it’s a dangerous line for the Hawks offense. Defensively, you always have to start stopping the run against the Bison because NDSU wants to build the run first. Cam Miller is a capable passer and the Hawks will need their high school to play their best game of the year. The defense struggled to come off the field in third place last week against South Dakota. If AND this week doesn’t see the special teams save the team again, the Hawks defense needs to do better this week in third place.

The bison must force AND’s secondary to attack in space and don’t let special teams change momentum like AND did against South Dakota and Youngstown State. NDSU receivers had reception in last fall’s narrow win against AND 0 yards, and that will have to be very different if the Bison are to succeed on Saturday. That’s not to say the running game won’t be important. The Bison may be a bit battered with injuries, but NDSU can always rely on a dominant offensive line. While AND’s battles have come at the secondary level, the Bison have plenty of frontline experience and will be testing the AND Front Seven. Left-back Nash Jensen will start his 66th straight game on Saturday.

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