Native North Dakotan Players Looking Forward to This Weekend’s NDSU-UND Game

39 players combined from each roster from the state

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota and North Dakota State football fans get use to it because it’s about to happen a lot more often. The Bison and Fighting Hawks meet on Saturday for the first time as conference opponents since 2003 when both were in the North Central Conference.

UND won that one and leads the all time series, however,  NDSU has owned the match-up since both turned division one winning the last two meetings at the FargoDome. The match-up moves back to the Alerus Center in the fall.

Going into this weekend’s showdown, 39 players combined from each roster are North Dakota natives two coming from the same town — which adds some weight — to the contest..

“I pretty much stay off of social media for that reason. I don’t need to see a lot of the things being said on there or hear from the UND fans backs home or the Bison fans back home,” linebacker Jakcson Hankey said. It’s different than when we play South Dakota State or Missouri State. There’s definitely a rivalry type feeling to it and maybe some added pressure in that way.”

“Being young I haven’t really seen the tradition or rivalry itself,” tight end Adam Zavalney said. “Going back and watching the documentaries. Seeing how much hate and also respect both teams have for each other. It’s going to be great and have to establish throughout the years.”

What do NDSU players say is different about their in-state opponents this time around? Confidence.

“Everyone that was playing the spring was going to play in the fall for them so they have a pretty veteran group all across the board,” defensive end Spencer Waege said. “I know there running backs run hard. They’ll run someone over. They’ll break tackles and extend plays that way.”

“They’re really good at stopping the run,” quarterback Cam Miller said. “I think it’s going to be tough for us to move the ball on the ground but we have faith in our offensive line that we’ll get a push. We’ll have to do some work through the air.”

UND sits two spots ahead of NDSU at number two in the rankings and is the only undefeated team in the Valley.

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