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2018 Season

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3 hours ago, Sioux94 said:

I really don't think the players or coaches will be thinking of 2018 as a rebuilding season.  More like a get back to the trajectory we were on after our 2016 season, meaning playoffs at a minimum.  There is no way guys like Santiago and Brady are going to go into this season with a mindset.........ahhh we are just rebuilding.  As for a 7-4 season being a failure from the other post, I don't see us finishing the season at 7-4.   If we finish regular season 7-4 I'd say 90% chance we are in the playoffs and would end up either 7-5 or 8-5.  Yes I realize it is possible to not make the playoffs at 7-4, we already lived that one once.  But an FBS loss to a good program, and potentially a second loss Sam Houston, I think if we end up with 2 other losses we are more than likely still in.  But I think there may be a pretty big bubble this year of teams with 7-4 record....so who knows.  

Let's just knock of Sam Houston though, we'd be in a much better position.  

remember its all about the #qualitylosses

 

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The coaching staff has a long way to go to prove competency. I’ve said before and will say it again, 2016 was an anomaly. The 2016 team didn’t have any heavyweight wins... I think the best were 7-4 record WSU and NAU (?).  Losses were to bad teams (SB 5-6, BGSU 4-7) . Looking back now with 2017 completed the best 2016 win was Weber State or USD, but neither were great 2016 teams. The 2016 schedule was what it was and you play who is on the schedule, but the schedule was very soft. 2017 was reality and more years like it schedulewise are ahead. Other programs overcame injuries. No depth kills. 

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12 hours ago, mooncountry said:

The coaching staff has a long way to go to prove competency. I’ve said before and will say it again, 2016 was an anomaly. The 2016 team didn’t have any heavyweight wins... I think the best were 7-4 record WSU and NAU (?).  Losses were to bad teams (SB 5-6, BGSU 4-7) . Looking back now with 2017 completed the best 2016 win was Weber State or USD, but neither were great 2016 teams. The 2016 schedule was what it was and you play who is on the schedule, but the schedule was very soft. 2017 was reality and more years like it schedulewise are ahead. Other programs overcame injuries. No depth kills. 

These are all fair points. I have concerns due to this also. Let's see what Bubba and UND can do in '18. 

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Looking back at 2016 - there were a couple of teams that were ranked at the time we played them, so of course us beating them becomes part of the reason they ended up not  being heavyweights.

Because of the unbalanced schedule in the BS every year at least one team rises out of nowhere and at least one team falls from grace - you can almost predict it will happen again this year. Maybe the stars were aligned in 2016 and we took advantage of it. Injuries do change the course and capabilities of teams every year, not an excuse but it is a reality.   

We aren't where we want to be yet. However I'm still looking forward to enjoying the season and in the future being able to take in some road games, something that was impossible over the past 4 years.  

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11 minutes ago, CMSioux said:

Looking back at 2016 - there were a couple of teams that were ranked at the time we played them, so of course us beating them becomes part of the reason they ended up not  being heavyweights.

Because of the unbalanced schedule in the BS every year at least one team rises out of nowhere and at least one team falls from grace - you can almost predict it will happen again this year. Maybe the stars were aligned in 2016 and we took advantage of it. Injuries do change the course and capabilities of teams every year, not an excuse but it is a reality.   

We aren't where we want to be yet. However I'm still looking forward to enjoying the season and in the future being able to take in some road games, something that was impossible over the past 4 years.  

We had a very easy schedule in 2016 and took full advantage of it.   No Montana or Eastern Washington, plus we had Stoney Brook and South Dakota.   Regarding injuries, if we can't learn to deal with them then we will never be much of a football team.

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49 minutes ago, jdub27 said:

Montana was 3-5 in conference play in 2016...

You can't talk down Montana until UND actually wins a game in Montana.

UND continues to get embarrassed every time they play in Montana (even with UM playing a 3rd string QB). If 2016 UND played Montana in Missoula, the Griz likely come out on top.

This year's premium game is a home game vs Montana in Grand Forks; if UND wants to make the playoffs in '18 they will have to win that game. 

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7 minutes ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

You can't talk down Montana until UND actually wins a game in Montana.

UND continues to get embarrassed every time they play in Montana (even with UM playing a 3rd string QB). If 2016 UND played Montana in Missoula, the Griz likely come out on top.

This year's premium game is a home game vs Montana in Grand Forks; if UND wants to make the playoffs in '18 they will have to win that game. 

Yeah, just think how bad it would have been had we not had our best QB in there, and best inside backers and best secondary guys.  er... wait.    I know, I know excuses (actually agree with you on the excuses are useless part...doesn't make it suck any less, tho. ;))

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It's also important to look at where UND was through the first two games last season. I still believe their performance in Utah was more than respectable and the Missouri State game was dominant. I don't think anyone (even with the Rodgers injury) could anticipate the rest of the year would turn out the way it did. What gives me optimism going forward is I believe what happened on the injury front was like a 100 year storm. I wrote about this a couple weeks ago, but what UND was left with at ILB (No Rodgers, Larson) turned that core into probably one of the worst in FCS football. Everything kind of snowballed from there. 

Everyone is pretty optimistic about the defensive side (at least the Front 7) to return to how they were in previous years. That single-handily will turn the team into a competitive bunch within the Big Sky schedule. Harris is a big X-factor, but a healthy Holm and other defensive backs being a year older (there were times when 3 of the 4 DBs were freshman), should improve as well. 

This is the year for the coaching staff and the program. They have a pretty small senior class (14 total players), so they'll be young once again across the board. I'm not a playoff or bust guy for the coaching staff, but they need to get to 7-4. If they can do that, I'd look for a big jump in '19. 

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Studying the schedule, how last year went, I know there's no guaranteed games at all, but I do like how the "conference" schedule breaks. It's much easier at the beginning than at the end, that will give this team a chance to win early and play meaningful games down the stretch. 

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2 hours ago, Teeder11 said:

Yeah, just think how bad it would have been had we not had our best QB in there, and best inside backers and best secondary guys.  er... wait.    I know, I know excuses (actually agree with you on the excuses are useless part...doesn't make it suck any less, tho. ;))

Agreed.

The difference is Montana actually won (head-to-head with UND) with their backups, while UND crumbled. 

There's no question that programs with very good coaching and subsequently good systems withstand injuries far better than programs that purely rely on the talent (players' abilities). I'm afraid UND's coaching staff may fall into the latter category. 

If one steps back and looks just at Bubba's system (not the players within it), there are several areas that could potentially be improved. Easy to talk though, eventually we have to see them walk the walk. 

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11 minutes ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Agreed.

The difference is Montana actually won (head-to-head with UND) with their backups, while UND crumbled. 

There's no question that programs with very good coaching and subsequently good systems withstand injuries far better than programs that purely rely on the talent (players' abilities). I'm afraid UND's coaching staff may fall into the latter category. 

If one steps back and looks just at Bubba's system (not the players within it), there are several areas that could potentially be improved. Easy to talk though, eventually we have to see them walk the walk. 

Fair points, for sure.  I ran into Chaves the other day and he was saying how when EWU came into the Alerus Center last year without Gubrud and a couple other star players, their coach simply adjusted the game plan to more of a game manager mode with the assumption that they were going to have to eke out a win. The score was 21-14 EWU.  I was feeling better about UND after that game until I heard that.  Ouch.

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36 minutes ago, Teeder11 said:

Fair points, for sure.  I ran into Chaves the other day and he was saying how when EWU came into the Alerus Center last year without Gubrud and a couple other star players, their coach simply adjusted the game plan to more of a game manager mode with the assumption that they were going to have to eke out a win. The score was 21-14 EWU.  I was feeling better about UND after that game until I heard that.  Ouch.

Gotta love those coaching adjustments, especially when they work. UND's ability to adjust on the fly is not a strong suit.

Without getting into specific X's and O's, there definitely are some things UND should try this season that they didn't last season. If they don't experiment with that, it could be another long season. Have to adjust to what you have available (in terms of players).

Big question: more about personal system or players' strengths when it comes to Bubba, Schmidt, and Rudolph?

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24 minutes ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Gotta love those coaching adjustments, especially when they work. UND's ability to adjust on the fly is not a strong suit.

Without getting into specific X's and O's, there definitely are some things UND should try this season that they didn't last season. If they don't experiment with that, it could be another long season. Have to adjust to what you have available (in terms of players).

Big question: more about personal system or players' strengths when it comes to Bubba, Schmidt, and Rudolph?

Did UND not adjust significantly in the second half of many 2016 games?

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7 minutes ago, southpaw said:

Did UND not adjust significantly in the second half of many 2016 games?

Sure seemed like it, especially against South Dakota.

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51 minutes ago, TRex said:

Sure seemed like it, especially against South Dakota.

And who can forget the second half adjustments against Richmond ?

( seriously, if anyone knows how to forget, let me know)

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2 hours ago, southpaw said:

Did UND not adjust significantly in the second half of many 2016 games?

Well, let's start by looking at the biggest game in UND football DI history which was in 2016: 

2016 FCS playoffs 2nd Round (12/3/16): Richmond @ North Dakota 

halftime: UND 17 Richmond 7

end of game: UND 24 Richmond 27

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3 hours ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Well, let's start by looking at the biggest game in UND football DI history which was in 2016: 

2016 FCS playoffs 2nd Round (12/3/16): Richmond @ North Dakota 

halftime: UND 17 Richmond 7

end of game: UND 24 Richmond 27

Let’s not look at that game. That still stings. 

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3 hours ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Well, let's start by looking at the biggest game in UND football DI history which was in 2016: 

2016 FCS playoffs 2nd Round (12/3/16): Richmond @ North Dakota 

halftime: UND 17 Richmond 7

end of game: UND 24 Richmond 27

I don’t think the Richmond game was lost due to halftime adjustments.  More of dumb mistakes as players and coaches.

Lets not talk about it

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3 minutes ago, F'n Hawks said:

I don’t think the Richmond game was lost due to halftime adjustments.  More of dumb mistakes as players and coaches.

Lets not talk about it

rudy and kostitch...no one else.

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23 minutes ago, F'n Hawks said:

I don’t think the Richmond game was lost due to halftime adjustments.  More of dumb mistakes as players and coaches.

Lets not talk about it

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.    As painful as it is, we need to remember or it'll happen again...........and again...........and again.

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1 hour ago, F'n Hawks said:

I don’t think the Richmond game was lost due to halftime adjustments.  More of dumb mistakes as players and coaches.

Lets not talk about it

UND did not adjust to maintain the lead and momentum. They didn't effectively run the ball on offense in the second half (and the passing game was mostly Studsrud throwing ugly, ugly passes that were incomplete and thus stopping the clock), they ran untimely plays like the infamous "triple reverse", and Bubba and Schmidt over-played their obsession with zero coverage blitzes leaving one-on-one coverage in the secondary (which Richmond burned UND on). The running into the punter situation was a single mistake of many in the second half.

UND's coaching staff needs to be far better than they were that December day in 2016 if we want UND to be a national title contender under Bubba. 

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20 minutes ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

UND did not adjust to maintain the lead and momentum. They didn't effectively run the ball on offense in the second half (and the passing game was mostly Studsrud throwing ugly, ugly passes that were incomplete and thus stopping the clock), they ran untimely plays like the infamous "triple reverse", and Bubba and Schmidt over-played their obsession with zero coverage blitzes leaving one-on-one coverage in the secondary (which Richmond burned UND on). The running into the punter situation was a single mistake of many in the second half.

UND's coaching staff needs to be far better than they were that December day in 2016 if we want UND to be a national title contender under Bubba. 

In my opinion pure coaching malpractice.  Although fans were disgusted, I think Bubba and staff got off lightly because A.  We were just happy to finally be in a playoff game and thought we had turned the corner as a program, B.  He was still not Mussman, and C.  We were convinced we would make a deep run the next year.  In most winning programs at least one, probably two heads would have rolled.  How is Rudolf still here?   I'm pretty disappointed in Bubba for this.  

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Until we get our O-line beefed up we are going to struggle some with our offense. I think this year we will see a change in our strategy. I think the coaching staff sees that we are struggling to recruit hogs but we are able to recruit big receivers who can block downfield. I see them working to get our playmakers the ball in space this year. We have speed and I would take Santiago out in space against anyone. I could be wrong but remain optimistic that they will utilize our strengths. Wait and see I guess.

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