UND can’t keep pace with Cal PolyGRAND FORKS — One thing clearly was determined in the University of North Dakota’s first official Big Sky home game.
By: Wayne Nelson, Forum Communications
GRAND FORKS — One thing clearly was determined in the University of North Dakota’s first official Big Sky home game.
Success in the Big Sky can be fleeting. UND’s brush with a successful home opener in its new conference didn’t last long as No. 23 Cal Poly scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat the Green and White 35-17 on Saturday night before 9,531 fans at the Alerus Center.
After quarterback Marcus Hendrickson’s 2-yard touchdown run gave UND a 17-14 lead early in the fourth quarter, Cal Poly took it to the home team — running its way to three scores in 10 minutes.
“You have the momentum and the building is alive,” UND coach Chris Mussman said. “It’s disappointing more than anything. Losing 35-17 doesn’t sit well. It’s a loss, No. 1. But I don’t see that team being much better than us. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good. But to let it get away at the end like that wasn’t much fun.”
After Hendrickson’s score energized the building, Cal Poly needed only four plays to take the lead for good. Cole Stanford’s 65-yard run on a basic counter dive play gave the Mustangs a first down at the UND 10. Three plays later, quarterback Andre Broadous scored from 3 yards out.
The Mustangs blocked a UND field-goal attempt two possessions later and capitalized with another Broadous score, this one from 2 yards for a 28-17 lead.
Broadous directed a triple-option offense that rushed for 321 yards. Deonte Williams was the leader, finishing with 125 yards on 19 attempts as he capped the scoring with an 18-yard run with 3:25 to play.
Stanford’s run, however, was the back-breaker. It deflated the building.
“The counter dive has been successful for us,” Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh said. “We have to have the right time and the right design to run it. We knew we had to make some explosive plays. And we had four or five explosive plays that were the difference.”
But UND helped the Mustangs as well. UND committed four turnovers — two fumbles and two interceptions. Greg Hardin fumbled on UND’s third play from scrimmage and the Mustangs capitalized when Broadous hit Stanford for a 20-yard TD.
The Mustangs followed with a ball-control drive that ended with a Williams’ 3-yard score for a 14-0 lead with 2:27 left in the first quarter.
UND worked its way back, cutting the lead to 14-7 on Mitch Sutton’s 2-yard run right before halftime. Zeb Miller’s 26-yard field goal preceded Hendrickson’s early score in the fourth quarter, one that seemingly put UND in control.
Walsh, however, wasn’t fazed.
“We let the lead get away from us against UC Davis and Wyoming, too,” he said. “We have to believe we can do it. And how many different guys contributed for us in the fourth quarter.”
UND, meanwhile, was looking for someone to make a big play in the final quarter.
That big play nearly came when Daryl Brown took a pitch from Brett Cameron on a fake punt attempt on fourth-and-8 after Cal Poly’s go-ahead score. Brown appeared to have open space but Cal Poly’s defensive speed produced the stop.
“I made a big mistake on that play,” said UND’s Myles Jablonski. “My guy tackled Daryl. It caught me off guard. We should have had that one.”
But there were a number of plays that didn’t go UND’s way all night.
“There is not much you can say,” said Sutton. “We had it and let it go through our fingers. We had the momentum in the fourth quarter. Things just kept going south for us. We couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole.”
UND finished with 409 yards of offense, compared to Cal Poly’s 395.
The yardage, however, produced only 17 points. And now, UND faces the heart of its Big Sky schedule coming off a home loss.
“We’re going to be all right,” said UND defensive end Ross Brenneman, who had a team-high seven tackles. “Things will get back on track. It’s the make or break part of the season that’s coming up.”
CP 14 0 0 21 — 35
UND 0 7 3 7 — 17
CP–Cole Stanford 20 pass from Andre Broadous (Bobby Zalud kick), 11:43.
CP–Deonte Williams 3 run (Zalud kick), 2:27.
UND–Mitch Sutton 2 run (Zeb Miller kick), :51.
UND–Miller 26 FG, 8:02.
UND–Marcus Hendrickson 2 run (Miller kick), 13:25.
CP–Broadous 3 run (Zalud kick), 11:44.
CP–Broadous 2 run (Zalud kick), 3:54.
CP–Williams 18 run (Zalud kick), 3:25.
TEAM STATISTICS CP UND
First downs 16 23
Rushes-yards 56-321 38-133
Passing yards 74 276
Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-5-0 22-41-2
Total yards 395 409
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties-yards 7-65 3-23
Punts-Avg. 3-42.3 2-41
RUSHING: CP, Deonte Williams 19-125, Cole Stanford 5-90, Akaninyene Umoh 14-76, Andre Broadous 14-21, Kristaan Ivory 2-11. UND, Marcus Hendrickson 13-66, Mitch Sutton 17-37, Jake Miller 6-21, R.J. McGill 1-8, Daryl Brown 1-1.
PASSING: CP, Broadous 3-5-0, 74; Norman Sadler 0-1-0, 0. UND, Hendrickson 22-40-1, 276; Blair Townsend 0-1-1, 0.
RECEIVING: CP, Stanford 2-54, Willie Tucker 1-20. UND, Kenny Golladay 5-82, McGill 5-66, Sutton 5-63, Greg Hardin 4-38, Jameer Jackson 2-16, Tyrhy Ivery 1-11.