Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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POCATELLO, Idaho — The North Dakota football team had a trick play up its sleeve. All-American running back John Santiago would sneak into the game as the holder on a field goal attempt. On UND's first drive of the second half, the Fighting Hawks called for the fake on fourth-and-5 from the 10 with the game tied at 14. The only problem? The Bengals saw Santiago. "I tried my best to hide my number," Santiago said. "I heard a couple guys say, '22 is in the game.'"
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota and Idaho State football teams seemingly are headed in opposite directions. The No. 19 Fighting Hawks have won five straight games and sit atop the Big Sky Conference standings. Idaho State is 2-4 and coming off two humbling losses to Northern Arizona (52-7) and Portland State (45-20). But there's still a sliver of confidence for the Bengals, who host UND in Pocatello at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The University of North Dakota women's soccer team finished practice a little after 5 p.m. Tuesday. That's when the team learned of President Mark Kennedy's declaration that the school wouldn't eliminate any current sports. The announcement ended nearly three months of uncertainty within the program after the school considered cuts to the soccer, swimming, tennis, softball and golf teams. "Relief more than anything," UND junior soccer player Liz McDowell said. "I'm super happy I get to play my senior year at UND."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The University of North Dakota athletic department will continue to sponsor 20 sports, President Mark Kennedy confirmed Tuesday afternoon. On Monday, UND's Intercollegiate Athletic Committee passed a recommendation to Kennedy that included retaining all 20 sports sponsored by the university. "I affirm their recommendation for continuing with our current level of support for actively sponsored programs," Kennedy wrote in a campuswide email.
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota football program isn't embracing any revenge angle to the matchup with Idaho State on Saturday. A year ago, Idaho State upset UND 37-31 in Grand Forks. The win was the Bengals' lone Division I victory in 2015 and likely cost the Fighting Hawks a spot in the FCS playoffs. "We don't talk about it," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. "We're into 2016. It's different teams, different players and a different situation. We want to work really hard to stay on top of the Big Sky standings."
GRAND FORKS — Celebrating is its 100th homecoming on Saturday, the Fighting Hawks' football team gave the University of North Dakota's alumni a lot to cheer about. UND won its fifth-straight game and remained atop the Big Sky Conference standings with a 45-23 win over Southern Utah at the Alerus Center. UND quarterback Keaton Studsrud passed for a career-high 282 yards and four touchdowns as the Fighting Hawks earned their longest winning streak since starting the 2007 season 6-0.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Dylan Bakker grew up in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where football doesn't have the same support it does in the United States. "No one cares about it," Bakker said. "You practice twice a week. You're happy if 10 people show up to practice." Those raw football beginnings are a long way from where Bakker will be Saturday. The senior inside linebacker will enter a Big Sky Conference showdown against Southern Utah at 1 p.m. at the Alerus Center as the leading tackler of the league-leading UND Fighting Hawks.
The UND men's basketball team is picked third in the Big Sky coaches' preseason poll and fourth in the Big Sky media preseason poll, which was released Friday. The coaches and media both selected Weber State to repeat as league champion. UND received three first-place votes and finished with 103 points in the coaches' poll. UND was only one point behind Idaho (104), who received one first-place vote among the coaches. In the media poll, Montana wound up in second behind Weber and picked up three first-place votes. The Griz were fourth in the coaches' poll.
GRAND FORKS — In the Sacramento State press box last Saturday night, a Canadian Football League scout saw a first-half run from University of North Dakota's John Santiago and predicted the Fighting Hawks could have three backs run for 100 yards or more against the Hornets. UND did have three players (Keaton Studsrud, Brady Oliveira and Austin Gordon) run for more than 100 yards against the Hornets, even though Santiago, who was easing back into the lineup due to injury, wasn't one of them.
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota football coach Bubba Schweigert doesn't like to look ahead at what any individual game could mean in the larger scope of the 2016 season. On Monday, he quickly dismissed any talk of the Fighting Hawks' chances of sitting in the driver's seat of the Big Sky Conference if it can beat Southern Utah. UND, which moved up two spots to No. 22 in the STATS FCS poll, faces Southern Utah for a homecoming game at the Alerus Center at noon Saturday.