Nov. 20 – FARGO – AND ended the regular season on Saturday with a 42-21 loss to North Dakota State.
Here are five things you may have overlooked while playing the game.
AND changed its starting lineup at the last minute this week.
Right starting tackle Seth Anderson, a transfer from North Dakota State, didn’t dress against the Bison.
Sam Hagen, who started the season opener at the University of Nebraska, started in Anderson’s place.
The reason for Anderson’s absence is not yet known, although a number of AND players missed training this week due to illness.
During the game, AND didn’t seem to suffer many injuries. Linebacker Wyatt Pedigo and safety Kadon Kauppinen received medical attention during the game, but both players returned to the game.
A North Dakota native, Bo Belquist, whose father played at North Dakota State, has played well against the Bison in his career.
His 102 yards on Saturday was a season high.
In the fall of 2021, the New Rockford, ND native had three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown against NDSU.
In spring 2021, Belquist had three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown against NDSU.
In 2022, Belquist finishes the regular season with at least three passes in each game. He has 61 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns.
After NDSU had already taken a 14-0 lead and AND coughed up a turnover, the bison used a lucky jump to increase the lead to three points.
Bison quarterback Cam Miller lofted a deep ball from midfield, which was perfectly defended by UND cornerback Edmund Ocansey.
However, the ball bounced off Ocansey’s shoulder pads or helmet area and into the arms of unintended receiver Logan Hofstedt.
The catch was a 29-yard gain and set up NDSU’s third score.
“We were pretty lucky,” said NDSU coach Matt Entz. “It’s an elongated ball and doesn’t bounce properly…he only made that catch because he’s playing hard. He was in a route and playing at full speed. If he wasn’t playing at full speed, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to do it.”
The Fighting Hawks struggled to keep the Bison within reach for much of the game, but the AND special teams provided another opportunity to get back in the game.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Bison, 41-21 down, had the ball in the red zone and seemed content with a 25-yard field goal.
AND cornerback CJ Siegel blocked the free kick, however. Siegel also blocked a vital extra point against South Dakota last week.
On the block, AND cornerback Edmund Ocansey had an opportunity to snag the ball and possibly score, but he sniffed the hold and the Bison recovered.
AND went offensive in the resulting offensive series in threes.
The Fighting Hawks nearly turned the momentum with a defensive play after a touchdown run by Quincy Vaughn in the third quarter that cut the NDSU lead to 35-21.
Bison quarterback Cam Miller threw a quick outside pass that was skipped over by AND corner Devin Hembry, who could cause the incomplete but nearly had the interception for an easy pick-six.
“As tough as it was, we had the chance to get a little pick six,” said UND coach Bubba Schweigert. “It was about 10 feet from me. You step forward and take that in…you just have to do those games in November football. Proud of our lads think we struggled but obviously disappointed we didn’t do better today.”