Win and be in was the proposition Saturday for the Bulldogs, and they delivered. Playing in cold, rainy and windy conditions at Malosky Stadium Saturday did not hold the team back from thrashing Northern State, 49-31.
The four-time defending NSIC champions will now advance to the playoffs as a result of this win. They will take on Missouri Western State University on the road next weekend.
A big milestone on the day for head coach Bob Nielson was his 100th career win.
The Bulldogs amassed an enormous 506 rushing yards. Quarterback Chase Vogler nearly matched the Bulldog single game rushing record, with 224 on the ground (12 shy of the mark) and five touchdowns.
Keeping it on the ground was fitting for the day – an ideal remedy for the elements.
"Our guys have done a great job adapting to the different defenses and being prepared for what other defenses are going to give us," Vogler said. “Our O-line and wide receiver cores have continued to grow and get better together, and our running backs and tight ends have continued to step up."
Offensively, the Dogs got it done. Running back Logan Lauters recorded 149 yards rushing, 102 from fellow back Austin Sikorski, 7.5 average yards per carry leading to a showcase of an afternoon running for the home team.
The defense kept a powerful Northern offense in check and the rest of the contest essentially is history.
Aforementioned head coach Bob Nielson produced his 100th win as the leader of UMD Football. The man at the helm has had a productive and impressive tenure with the Bulldogs. He has the proven ability to get the right pieces in place, perennially yielding competitive teams and finding the means to an end on the field.
The full NCAA field was announced Sunday. UMD, the No. 6 seed in the region will travel to St. Joseph, Mo., to take on No. 6-seeded Missouri Western Saturday at noon.
BY BILL ZIEGLER firstname.lastname@example.org