Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- University of North Dakota football followers spent the week trying to decode what needed to happen for the Fighting Hawks to make the FCS playoffs. On Saturday, Nov. 17, the UND football team took care of the most important angle of postseason scenarios. The Fighting Hawks didn’t hold up their end of any postseason scenario by falling 31-16 to struggling Northern Arizona at Walkup Skydome in the regular-season finale.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Many of the recent FCS playoff scenarios circulating online by media prognosticators have been kind to the University of North Dakota. The common view is the Fighting Hawks as a first-round host. The only issue for UND and coach Bubba Schweigert? This is all assuming a victory. UND (6-4 overall) needs to beat Northern Arizona (3-6 overall) Saturday, Nov. 17, in order to boost the chances of reaching the postseason for just the second time in the program’s Division I history. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota football team’s final roadtrip of the regular season this weekend features a charter flight to Flagstaff, Ariz., which would be a 1,600-mile, 25-hour car ride from Grand Forks. For most other programs, the lengthy travel would be a primary storyline and talking point.
GRAND FORKS -- With one regular season game remaining, the University of North Dakota football team sits on the FCS tournament bubble. After a wild weekend of surprising results, the only thing for certain is that the Fighting Hawks (6-4 overall) will need to beat Northern Arizona (3-6 overall) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in Flagstaff, Ariz., to remain in consideration for the 24-team field.
GRAND FORKS -- Portland State football coach Bruce Barnum was singing the praises of University of North Dakota coach Bubba Schweigert earlier this week. “Bubba’s always got a tough football team,” Barnum said. “The only time you catch a Bubba team is when he’s got some injuries.” Barnum was probably referencing UND’s injury-riddled 2017 season in which the Fighting Hawks went a disappointing 3-8.
GRAND FORKS -- With a 10-point lead and nine minutes left last Saturday night, Nov. 3, the University of North Dakota football team was in the driver’s seat of an important road win over Idaho. Then, the Fighting Hawks had their third punt of the season blocked. The Vandals scooped the block and scored. The flip in momentum led to Idaho’s 31-27 victory -- all but sealing UND’s playoff hopes. As the Hawks turn the page to their final regular-season home game against Portland State on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m., UND is hoping to patch up the special teams play.
MOSCOW, Idaho -- First, the University of North Dakota’s football team’s offensive firepower vanished. Then, too, likely did the Fighting Hawks’ postseason hopes. UND lost a 10-point fourth-quarter lead as Idaho quarterback Mason Petrino hit Jeff Cotton for an 8-yard touchdown with 27 seconds remaining to beat the Hawks 31-27 on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Kibbie Dome.
MOSCOW, Idaho -- In Idaho’s first season dropping from the FBS level to the FCS, the Vandals have struggled to a 3-5 record including blowout losses to regional rivals Idaho State and Eastern Washington. One of the theories behind the challenging season is the adjustment to a new conference. The Big Sky Conference features a wide array of styles -- from Cal Poly’s triple option to Eastern Washington’s high-flying pass attack.
GRAND FORKS -- The FCS playoff scenarios are starting to crank up with three weeks left in the regular season, but the outlook for the Fighting Hawks is becoming pretty clear already. The University of North Dakota (5-3 overall) likely will need to win out to make the 24-team playoff field.
GRAND FORKS -- As the FCS regular season hits the final stretch, a playoff-caliber program like the University of North Dakota starts talking about signature wins. These kind of wins are the type to determine postseason seeding or even just inclusion in the 24-team tournament.