UND concerned about injuriesGRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota is at the halfway point of its football season. It’s the time of the season when head coaches usually look at the medical reports first instead of the scouting reports.
By: Wayne Nelson, The Dickinson Press
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota is at the halfway point of its football season. It’s the time of the season when head coaches usually look at the medical reports first instead of the scouting reports.
The medical reports for this week’s game at No. 7-ranked Eastern Washington had priority at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday as a handful of UND players are questionable for Saturday’s Big Sky Conference game against the Eagles.
“Today, we’re pretty nicked up,” UND coach Chris Mussman said.
But that’s nothing seriously out of the ordinary.
“It’s football; it’s that time of the year,” Mussman said. “It’s our sixth game and we’ve had a month-and-a-half of two-a-days. We’ll back it off in practice this week. Our job is to make sure we get the guys to Saturday.
“Sometimes, when you take the pads off, the focus wanes. That’s the challenge for us this week.”
Questionable for Saturday are receiver R.J. McGill and linebackers Garrison Goodman and Damon Andrews.
McGill is UND’s second-leading receiver with 22 catches for 275 yards, while Goodman leads the team with 35 tackles — 16 of them unassisted.
Also, offensive lineman Emmett Lynch is practicing with a broken thumb this week. He sat out last week’s game, a 35-17 loss against Cal Poly. The contest was the most physical of the season.
Mussman said he doesn’t expect all four players to miss Saturday’s game. It’s just too early in the week to tell who will or won’t play.
“That’s the tale of the tape,” Mussman said. “Can you stay healthy for the season?”
One player getting closer to full health is quarterback Braden Hanson. And that could make for an interesting decision later in the week.
Hanson started the season but went down with a broken bone in his leg in the opener. Marcus Hendrickson took over and has put up some of the best passing numbers in the country.
Mussman said he doesn’t know who will start under center at Eastern Washington.
“We’ll stress Braden more and more each week,” Mussman said. “I fully intend on getting him ready to play on Saturday. How many reps will he get? The game will dictate that.
“He’s been very anxious and chomping at the bit and rightly so. Our season will be over in a heartbeat. We need to get him on the field to see what he can do for this team.”
Mussman fielded a few questions on who will start but wouldn’t speculate.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do yet,” he said. “It’s Tuesday. I’m not trying to be coy. We just haven’t made up our mind. I haven’t even talked to the kids yet. I’m not going to say it publically until I’ve pulled the guys aside and talked to them.
“By game time, we’ll have a clear decision as to who will start.”