UND Finds Positive Takeaways After 45-3 Loss to (9) Washington

UND's John Santiago rushed for a game-high 139 yards on just 18 carries

SEATTLE, W.A. — (UND Athletics) Visiting North Dakota stood tall among the ninth-ranked Washington Huskies and their 68,093 fans at Husky Stadium, dropping a 45-3 decision Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Hawks were electric through three quarters on the defensive side of the ball, collecting a pair of interceptions and forcing five punts. UND did not allow Washington to convert a first down to begin the second half until its final drive of the quarter.

“We knew it was going to be a really tough challenge,” said UND head coach Bubba Schweigert. “We were going to have to earn everything we got today and I thought going into halftime we played decent football with the exception of the one turnover and a couple of big plays on defense.”

John Santiago showed off his entire skill set for the visitors, rushing for a game-high 139 yards on just 18 carries. The senior back had a 69-yard scamper in the third quarter that lead to a scoring drive for the Hawks.

“When we got down in there [red zone] after John’s big run, we were looking for seven,” said Schweigert. “As the game moved on, we just needed to stay on the field offensively. We had a lot of plays defensively against a real physical front that eventually wore us down.”

In the second quarter, after the defense snuffed out back-to-back plays on 3rd and 4th-and-1, Santiago got into a groove. The senior scampered for a 10-yard gain on 3rd and long, then collected 14 more yards combined on his next three rushes as North Dakota worked its way across midfield and into Washington territory.

UND was forced to punt, however, and the drive stalled, allowing Washington to regain possession. The Huskies then drove 87 yards on nine plays for a 17-0 advantage.

Santiago then showed off his skills in other areas with a 25-yard kickoff return setting up a nifty 17-yard reception that saw him juke a few Huskies and leap another. Again, though, the drive stalled just past midfield as UND’s fourth-down attempt came up inches shy.

After the teams traded punts, Hayden Galvin intercepted Jake Browning with under two minutes to go, giving the Fighting Hawks an opportunity at a final push before halftime.

Nate Ketteringham then completed five straight passes and then Santiago moved a pile 11 yards on the ground for a first down at the 26. In that stretch, Ketteringham found Noah Wanzek for six and then 11 yards, followed by a three and four-yard completions to Travis Toivonen to setup a big 3rd-and-3 at the Washington 39 with 42 seconds to go in the stanza. Toivonen moved the chains on a three-yard catch with Santiago’s run getting it down to the 26. Brady Leach’s 43-yard field goal attempt was short and the teams went into the halftime locker room with the home team up, 17-0.

In the second half, North Dakota forced a pair of punts before putting together its first scoring drive. On 3rd-and-6 from the UND 14, Santiago found a seam up the middle and raced 69 yards to the Washington 14. Santiago then followed that with another 10-yard scamper as North Dakota knocked on the doorstep. Brady Leach converted from 20 yards out for his first collegiate field goal and the Fighting Hawks were on the board, 17-3.

Washington (1-1) stormed back with a scoring drive of its own, using a 31-yard kickoff return to fuel a nine-play, 48-yard drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Browning to Cade Otton for a 24-3 advantage.

Hayden Blubaugh picked off Browning later in the frame, giving UND the ball near midfield. North Dakota went three-and-out and the third quarter closed with the heavily-favored Huskies with just a three-score lead.

Washington used a three-score final quarter to pull away and hold off the upset-minded Fighting Hawks, 45-3, on Saturday afternoon.

North Dakota will play another ranked opponent next week, heading to Sam Houston State to battle the FCS’ fourth-ranked team. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. Central on WDAY/Z Xtra and the KX Network across the state.


*North Dakota is 1-10 all-time against FBS opponents
*UND has future FBS matchups against: Kansas State (2020), Utah State (2021), Nebraska (2022, 2026), Iowa State (2024) and Missouri (2025).
*Washington, ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press poll, represented the highest-ranked FBS opponent in UND’s history.
*Santiago has now rushed for 100-plus yards in three of his games against FBS opponents.
*Santiago’s 69-yard rush in the third quarter was the fourth-longest rush of his career and the seventh of 50 yards or more in his standout career.
*Santiago (3,389)  moved into second place on UND’s all-time rushing list, passing Bill Deutsch (3,345).
*He also gained 260 in all-purpose yardage (5,737) to move past Phillip Moore (5,586) into second place on the school’s career list.
*Warren Taylor made his collegiate debut, booting a 42-yard punt in the third quarter without a return.
*Brady Leach converted a 20-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter (20 yards) for his first career make.
*Quarterback Andrew Zimmerman, a Washington native, took the final offensive snaps for UND

Santiago vs. FBS schools
2018      18-139 at Washington
2017      10-20 at Utah
2016      18-119 at BGSU
2015      24-148 at Wyoming
TOTAL   70-426

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