UND is Overwhelmed by Utah in Season Opener
The North Dakota Fighting Hawks had their hands full with FBS opponent Utah in the first game of the season, and the Utes gave them way more than they could handle.
Utah sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley did a little bit of everything last night. Huntley accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) and threw for 227 yards on 23 of 32 passing as Utah beat North Dakota, 37-16 to open up the season for both teams.
The Fighting Hawks (0-1) were overmatched by a Utah (1-0) squad that looked bigger and faster from the start. That being said, UND hung around until the fourth quarter when the Utes put the game away for good with a couple of scoring drives.
UND's offense didn't seem to get going in the first half. They took an early first quarter 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal from Ried Taubenheim, but would never lead after that. Utah responded with an 81-yard drive on 10 plays, capped off by a 16-yard touchdown run by Huntley. The Utes led another long 75-yard drive in the second quarter and scored on an 18-yard pass from Huntley to Darren Carrington II to go up 14-6 at the time. Utah would take a 17-9 lead into the half as UND had to settle for two more Taubenheim field goals (26, 43).
In the second half, Utah began to pull away. They used a 7-play, 85-yard drive to score once again, as running back Zach Moss finished it off with a 5-yard touchdown run, making it 24-9. After another Utes field goal made it 27-9, UND finally got in the endzone in the fourth quarter when quarterback Keaton Studsrud hit Luke Fiedler on a 3-yard touchdown pass to bring it to 27-16 with 14:10 remaining. However, the Fighting Hawks wouldn't come any closer.
Studsrud finished with 175 yards passing on 13 of 28 with a touchdown and an interception. UND's rushing attack never really got going as they totaled just 55 yards on 28 carries.
Utah's ground game stayed strong throughout led by Moss. The sophomore running back finished with 128 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Huntley added 70 yards on 18 attempts and two scores. The Utes totaled 272 rushing yards for the game.
UND will play its home opener against FCS opponent Missouri St. on Saturday, September 9.