Northern Arizona beat UND 48-27 on Saturday. I was able to watch the game and that was an unexpected treat but the outcome wasn't much of a treat.
When it comes to the football team... I'm not sure what to say other than... I feel real bad for them. When I look at the team as a whole this year... It's hard to put your finger on one thing. The easy way to explain my thoughts is this way. The team simply has failed to put together that one complete game against tough competition.
They haven't had a game where the Offense clicked and the Defense clicked at the same time. Even the special teams had a game that cost them in the end. Every game it seems to be one thing that falls apart and it's different each game and it's hard to correct a moving target in my opinion.
Early in the year... It was the defense. South Dakota State, Montana and Montana State came to Grand Forks and did what they wanted against the D. Then the D started playing better... All reports were that they did a nice job in their win over Idaho State on the road and then they came back home to face a tough Eastern Washington and you could see that defensive improvement. Unfortunately... by the time the defense started playing better... The Offense stopped working to it's potential and the offense continued to struggle as the weeks went by.
On Saturday... The offense didn't do anything on the ground but Ryan Bartels did a nice job throwing the ball and Kenny Golladay was a force and the offense looked decent... but surprise... surprise... the defense just couldn't get the stop that was needed when it was needed.
When I step back and try to take a 1,000 foot view... It's OK... The Big Sky is a tough conference and we are just a couple of years into being playoff eligible. The upper classman playing on this team were recruited during a time when we were not eligible to play for a championship. That's a point that needs to be considered strongly.
We have Freshmen QB's with talent but freshmen none the less. I can feel everyone's frustration but better days are ahead. This thing wasn't going to happen overnight. Even if it looked like it might last year.
As for the Hockey team getting swept at home by St. Cloud State. My immediate thought was this... St. Cloud State was good.
UND didn't generate a bunch of chances but I thought St. Cloud State had some talent on the blue line and they just did a great job keeping us away from scoring chances. I also thought UND did a good job doing the same to St. Cloud State. It was pretty good hockey all around. UND lost both games because of momentary breakdowns and St. Cloud was able to capitalize on those breakdowns. Both of those games could have easily turned out 0-0 because the defense for both teams were that solid. Get used to it... not the losing part but get used to the tight matches against quality hockey teams. The NCHC is going to be tough competition every week.
The Vikings... I didn't see the game but they lost again. The Draft Pick in 2014 gets better and better.