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Demons looking to keep revitalized running game going
The Northwestern State Demons revitalized their running attack in last week’s 17-10 win over Tarleton State.
The Demons rushed for 129 yards and averaged over three yards a carry in last Saturday’s win. In the previous two games, NSU had a total of 109 rushing yards and were averaging just two yards a carry.
NSU kicked started its running game last week by throwing in reverses by wide receivers T.C. Henry and Bradley Brown. Not to mention that three different running backs had multiple carries for the Demons.
Sterling Endsley led all Demons with 50 yards on 12 carries; Sidney Riley had 26 yards on nine carries while true freshman Rumeall Morris had 33 yards on just four carries.
“We are going to be running the ball by committee,” said NSU coach Bradley Dale Peveto.
North Dakota is going through some serious changes. The NCAA forced the university to retire its 80-year-old nickname, the Fighting Sioux, due to concerns that the name was offensive to American Indians. Most recently, programs like UL-Monroe and Arkansas State changed their nicknames for similar reasons.
North Dakota is also experiencing conference shakeup with realignment taking over college athletics. North Dakota is part of the five-team Great West Conference but two of the schools, Cal Poly and UC Davis, are leaving for the Big Sky Conference. That leaves North Dakota in a conference likely to collapse.
North Dakota has applied to become a member of the Summit League- a conference that does not offer football. There is some discussion that the league could add football in the near future. Another option for the university could be to become the 12th member of the Big Sky conference.
RACKING UP MILEAGE
Another long road trip for the Demons as they travel to Grand Forks, N.D., for Saturday’s game. The round-trip mileage for this road trip clocks in at 2,619 miles. This comes after the 1,967-mile round trip for the season opener at Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo.
This means that NSU has traveled 4,586 miles for just two road games this season, which is nearly double the mileage the Demons recorded all of last season. NSU racked up 2,817 miles in five road games in 2009.
With road games remaining at Southeastern La., Texas State, Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin, that mileage bill will get higher. NSU is expected to travel a total of more than 6,700 miles for road contests this season.
Saturday’s game in the Alerus Center at North Dakota will be the first time NSU has played in an indoor facility since 2004. The Demons have lost their previous four games that were held inside. They lost 38-30 to Idaho in the 1988 FCS playoff quarterfinals, was shutout by Southern 20-0 in the 1994 season opener at the Superdome, stumbled at Northern Iowa, 43-10, in 2003 and most recently lost to North Dakota State, 30-17, in 2004.
North Dakota has a good amount of football tradition, as the team is only four wins away from achieving 600. It has also won 23 conference championships and was crowned the Division II national champion in 2001. That all pales in comparison to the school’s dominance on the ice.
The school has appeared in the NCAA tournament 25 times and the Frozen Four 18 times. North Dakota has won seven Frozen Four national championships, which is tied with Denver for second all-time. Michigan tops the list with nine titles.
North Dakota defeated NSU in the Demons’ home opener last season by the score of 27-20. An opening goal stand by the Fighting Sioux proved to be the difference. NSU put together a 13-play, 67-yard drive on the opening series of the game but the drive would not bear any points. North Dakota’s defense kept NSU out of the end zone four times from the one-yard line.
By Raymond A. Partsch III, The Town Talk