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UND sees road trip a refreshing change

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UND sees road trip a refreshing change
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POCATELLO, Idaho -- The University of North Dakota is welcoming the season's first road game of the year with open arms.

"It's a change of environment and a change of routine," UND linebacker Garrison Goodman said. "I think it'll be good for us to be on a solid business trip. I'm looking forward to heading out there and getting a win at someone else's place."

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After a brutal home schedule to open the season, UND is embracing today's Big Sky Conference matchup against Idaho State at Holt Arena.

North Dakota (0-1 Big Sky, 1-3 overall) is looking to turn the page after back-to-back blowouts at the hands of Montana and Montana State.

"It's not like I forgot what just happened," Goodman said. "I'm still upset about it. We have something to prove. You'd like to say that's not who we are, but that's what we've put on film. It's going to fuel the next game. You want the opposite result.

"I'm not thinking about the last game as far as plays and schemes. It's all focused on Idaho State. The game last Saturday doesn't sit well but we have to move on. It's time to hit someone else."

UND coach Chris Mussman also said he's looking forward to the trip, which can be used as a team-building experience.

"I'm excited about going on the road with 58 guys to Pocatello," Mussman said. "You're sequestered a bit. It's just football.

"We haven't performed anywhere near what is acceptable inside the program -- or outside the program for that matter. We look forward to getting better and playing the way we're capable of. I haven't stopped believing in these kids."

Getting Hardin involved

For the first time in his college career, senior wide receiver Greg Hardin went without a catch last week against Montana State.

"We have to move him around a little more," Mussman said. "Put him in the slot or get him a sweep or a reverse."

Mussman added UND's passes need to give Hardin a better chance to make an impact. The coach said he was targeted seven times against the Bobcats.

"They had decent coverage," Mussman said. "We need to have a better ball. We've got to let Greg run underneath it or make it a jump ball because nine of 10 times he's coming down with it."

Hardin remains 73 yards behind Weston Dressler for UND's all-time receiving yardage record.

Mollberg gets the nod

Earlier this week, Mussman said the team would no longer rotate quarterbacks during a game. He was still debating between redshirt freshmen Joe Mollberg and Ryan Bartels.

Mussman eventually chose Mollberg, who has started the past two weeks.

Bartels came in to replace Mollberg last week against Montana State but neither quarterback was very effective. The two combined for just 85 passing yards.

Notes and quotes

V The last meeting between these teams came in 2008. UND beat ISU 38-35 and it marked the first road win at the Division I level. Danny Freund, who is now UND's quarterbacks coach, passed for 237 yards and three touchdowns against the Bengals.

V Idaho State is looking to snap a 16-game losing streak against Football Championship Subdivision opponents.

V ISU quarterback Justin Arias is averaging 305.5 passing yards per game. "They play at a very high tempo," Mussman said.

V The Bengals were plagued by 11 dropped passes last week in a loss at UC Davies. "We have to play much better at wide receiver and quarterback," ISU coach Mike Kraemer said.

V Idaho State's two home wins came against Division II foes Dixie State and Western State.

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