This was not a season the UND football team was expecting to contend for an FCS playoff berth. This year was thought to be a rebuilding season under first year Head Coach Bubba Schweigert. But prior to last Saturday's loss at Southern Utah, anything seemed possible - especially given the circumstances this team has had to battle through.
Starting running back Cedric Simmons, a field stretching tight end in Kyle Ruhe, and leading receiver R.J. McGill are already lost for the season due to injury - and now you can add starting quarterback Joe Mollberg to that list. The injuries have led to a linebacker converting to running back (Kyle Norberg) and a defensive back converting to wide receiver (Josh Seibel). Yet somehow, someway, the team has been competitive in all but one game this season.
The changes may not be over either. Backup quarterback Ryan Bartels is dinged up as well and redshirt Freshman Keaton Studsrud took first team reps with the team at practice yesterday.
Pulling the redshirt on Studsrud at this point of the season has to be a last a resort for the coaching staff, but they may not be left with any other choice.
Regardless, though, of who is under center at Eastern Washington - we are really going to see just how good this coaching staff can be as the group tries to limp through its final 4 games of the season. If they can remain competitive with the rag-tag bunch that's left to take the field - it's going to project a much brighter future ahead for UND football. In fact, given all injuries this team has already had to endure - we may be seeing that brighter future already.