Your UND Fighting Hawks are back in the FCS playoffs!
This is the third time in the last five years the Hawks have been selected to join the FCS playoff field. They will be searching for their first ever playoff victory this Saturday when they take on the Missouri State Bears at 3:00pm CT inside the very friendly confines of the Alerus Center.
Tickets for the general public will go on sale Thursday morning. There are only 3,000 available due to covid restrictions so be ready or reach out to a season ticket holder or Champions Club member because they are going to be tough to come by.
The Fighting Hawks ended the spring season 4-1 after having their last three games canceled due to either covid or a teams quitting (YSU and ISU). To say UND is healthy and ready would be an understatement. To say they may be rusty would be understandable.
But, I do know they are feeling very confident up in Grand Forks now, very similar to how they felt prior to the Southern Illinois game and we all know how that turned out.
I expect UND to have NG Jalen Morrison, TE Adam Zavalney, and TE Derek Paulson back at full strength. The Hawks, minus the season-ending loss of safety Jordan Canady, will be as healthy as they have been since the SIU game.
When looking at the bracket a few thoughts come to mind:
- Was surprised to see South Dakota State get the #1 seed but not shocked. The win in Fargo on Saturday carried a ton of weight and the Jacks are playing very well right now. I am happy they didn’t award the top seed to a team that didn’t play anybody all year.
- I was happy to see Weber State not get a seed. They didn’t play anybody good and struggled in the games they did play.
- The bottom half of the bracket is loaded with playoff experience while the top half is SDSU’s to lose.
- The NCAA limited attendance to 25% capacity at all home venues. This in turn limits what an AD can bid. I give Bill Chaves credit for getting UND a home game when knowing he can only sell 3,000 tickets. Now it’s up to the team to take that advantage and capitalize on it.
- Missouri State comes into the game with a 5-4 record but three of those losses came last fall. Bobby Petrino has that program playing much better football since taking over last year. They are a highly-confident bunch, to put it lightly, and have talent all over the field. They remind me alot of SIU – when you play a team like this you attack and attack straight ahead and see if they want to play that way for four quarters.
- MSU’s five wins this spring came by a combined 30 points. Every game was tight and credit to them for finding a way to win. Their lone loss was a 25-0 beatdown at home by NDSU.
- I am assuming they gave Jacksonville State a seed based on their FBS win over Florida International last fall. The Gamecocks were 6-1 this spring and beat zero playoff teams.
- If the Hawks win on Saturday they will take on the winner of James Madison and VMI. Don’t count out the Keydets just yet, this spring has taught us that anything can happen and that is a confident bunch right now. If VMI wins UND could very well get another home game.