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UND special teams, defense


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For the second playoff week in a row, turnovers and special teams are a key contributor to the Sioux offense in a close game. This week featured a punt return for a TD, 2 forced fumbles and an INT in the first half, and another INT in the second half (sorry if I missed any).

Through the hills and valleys of each game, I've almost come to expect a shot of momentum from the D or special teams when the offense is sputtering (see my prescient prediction in the play-by-play thread). All season long, every part of this team has made important contributions to winning each game, not just relying on the offense to run up points. Congratulations team!

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To touch on what the original post claimed if UND wouldn't have fumbled and turned the ball over 5+ times in the Mesa State game this discussion might have been mute.

The above quote was stolen from another thread which is pretty much an abyss in which all football talk is lost, so I'll reply here. In addition to their importance in the Winona St game mentioned above, turnovers definitely helped keep the Sioux in the game vs. Pitt St. by breaking up their offensive momentum and giving our offense enough opportunities to get the job done.

Mesa State -2 (4/2)

Pitt State +7 (7/0)

WSU +2 (3/5)

The Times Daily recap of the win over C-N includes the related quote:

The Eagles, however, turned the ball over five times, including four crucial miscues in the first half.

"Turnovers are our biggest goal each week," said UNA nose tackle Jonathan Taylor, who had one of UNA's three interceptions. "Our goal is to get three turnovers a game. Usually if you get that many, you are going to win. We feel like we made some good plays to force those turnovers."

UNA has had 20 picks this season to their opponents' 8 (they've given up 9 fumbles, as have their opponents).

The Sioux are going to have to work for their INTs. UNA's senior QB, Will Hall, is a Harlon Hill finalist. His completion percentage was 70.1 (190/271) and he had only given up 7 INTs at the end of the regular season.

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