Northern Arizona (5-4, 4-2 BSC) at No. 12/10 North Dakota (8-2, 7-0 BSC)
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 • 12 p.m. MST
Grand Forks, N.D. • Alerus Center
TV: Midco Sports Newtwork
Radio: Flagstaff HITS 106.1 FM; Phoenix Money Radio 1510 AM & 99.3 FM; Prescott Area 97.9 FM Eagle Rocks; Window Rock/Ft. Defiance, Ariz. & Gallup, N.M. KHAC 880 AM
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona rides a four-game win streak into Grand Forks this Saturday as it visits No. 12/10 North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks are on an eight-game win streak, as they host the Lumberjacks in their regular season finale at the Alerus Center. Kickoff versus North Dakota is scheduled for 12 p.m. MST.
Midco Sports Network
The Opening Drive
• The Lumberjacks are on a roll as they have won their last four games and look to make it five straight this Saturday at North Dakota. NAU last defeated North Dakota was in 2013 with a 48-27 victory at home. The Lumberjacks have not beaten the Fighting Hawks in Grand Forks since Oct. 13, 2012, when NAU came away with a 45-38 victory.
• The Lumberjacks' win streak has included road victories at Montana State and Weber State, and home wins versus Idaho State and Montana.
• NAU is receiving votes in the national FCS weekly polls, while North Dakota is ranked No. 12/10. North Dakota is the fourth Top 25 team that NAU will face this season.
• Head Coach Jerome Souers led NAU to a 33-20 win over Weber State on Nov. 5. It was sentimental as it gave Souers the All-Time Big Sky Head Coaches Wins record. He passed Chris Ault (Nevada) who had tallied 111 wins.
• The NAU defense is tied for first in the Big Sky in sacks with 24 for a loss of 180 yards. Senior linebacker Jake Thomas has a team-high 67 tackles, followed by sophomore linebacker Jake Casteel's 61.
• Wide receivers Emmanuel Butler and Elijah Marks continue to be at the top of the conference rankings in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The junior playmakers have combined for 1,452 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
• NAU kicker Griffin Roehler was named the ROOT SPORTS Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week after he went 4-for-4 in made field goal attempts and 3-for-3 in PATs, scoring a total of 15 points in NAU's victory at Weber State.
Scouting North Dakota
Head Coach Bubba Schweigert is in his third season at North Dakota. Schweigert is 20-13.
• North Dakota opened the season with losses at Stony Brook and Bowling Green, but since it has been streaking, going on an eight-game win streak, including a 7-0 record in Big Sky play. The Fighting Hawks topped Northern Colorado last week, 23-13 on the road. Saturday is UND's final regular season game. UND and Eastern Washington are the only unbeaten teams left in league play.
• The last time NAU and North Dakota played in Grand Forks, UND beat the Lumberjacks 30-28 on Nov. 15, 2014. NAU leads the all-time series, 4-1.
• The Fighting Hawks are 4-0 at home this season and haven't lost a game at home since Oct. 10, 2015. North Dakota is on a six-game win streak at the Alerus Center.
• North Dakota is led by quarterback Keaton Studsrud, who has completed 124 of 208 passes for 1,564 passing yards and 11 thrown touchdowns. Travis Toivonen has caught 35 passes for 391 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The running back tandem of John Santiago and Brady Oliveira are rushing past defenders with breeze. Santiago, the reigning Co-Big Sky Freshman of the Year, leads the team with 864 yards and five scores. Oliveira has 734 rushing yards and a team-high nine touchdowns.
• The Fighting Hawks have held their opponents to a whopping 890 rushing yards combined all season. That's an average of 89 rushing yards per game for its opponents to lead the Big Sky and rank eighth in the nation. UND leads the league in scoring defense (20.6), total defense (334.1), and interceptions (18) - also No. 1 in the nation. UND is tied with NAU and Montana in sacks by with 24.