FARGO — North Dakota State head football coach Matt Entz hasn't decided on his starting quarterback for the team's showdown game against the University of North Dakota.

“We don’t know right now," Entz said Monday during his weekly press conference.

True freshman Cam Miller had a strong performance in relief of senior starting quarterback Zeb Noland last weekend in a 21-13 home victory against Illinois State. Entz said both Miller and Noland had good moments against the Redbirds.

“That’s put us in a situation this week where we need to continue to identify who is going to give us the best opportunity to win football games moving forward," Entz said. "Generally, you’re not really excited as a football coach to try to play two quarterbacks, you want to find a quarterback and that’s what we need to continue to do.”

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The No. 4-ranked Bison host No. 2-ranked UND at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20, in a key Missouri Valley Football Conference matchup at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. UND (4-0, 4-0) looks to remain the lone conference undefeated team, while the Bison (4-1, 3-1) are tied for second place with two other teams, one game behind the Fighting Hawks in the Missouri Valley standings.

North Dakota State's Cam Miller gets into Illinois State's end zone on Saturday, March 13, in the Fargodome.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
North Dakota State's Cam Miller gets into Illinois State's end zone on Saturday, March 13, in the Fargodome. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

NDSU has won 31 consecutive games at the Fargodome.

“They’re a really good football team and right now on paper they’re better than we are," Entz said of UND.

Miller helped lead the Bison on a game-clinching, 84-yard touchdown drive in last Saturday's victory against Illinois State at the Fargodome. Miller capped that 13-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown run that gave NDSU an eight-point lead with 3 minutes, 39 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. That was his first career touchdown with the Bison.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Miller rushed for 57 yards on 11 attempts to lead the Bison rushing attack against the Redbirds. Miller also completed 5 of 7 passes for 61 yards. He was named MVFC newcomer of the week for his performance.

Noland, from Watkinsville, Ga., started the game at quarterback against Illinois State. The 6-foot-2, 224-pound Noland completed 6 of 13 passes for 72 yards with two interceptions. Miller came on in relief during the third quarter after Noland threw his second interception. Entz said he previously planned to insert Miller into the game at that point for a full drive.

Prior to last Saturday's second half, Miller had played in spot duty and primarily in running situations.

“Both of them had some very positive things go on during the course of the game," Entz said. "Zeb played well early. We brought Cam in, he played well late.”

Noland, an Iowa State transfer in his second season with the Bison, was listed as the starting quarterback Monday afternoon in the game notes for the UND game. Miller was slated as a backup. Noland has completed 38 of 70 passes (54%) for 440 yards and three touchdowns with four interceptions in his four starts this spring.

Miller has played in three games this spring, rushing for 64 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. The first pass attempts in his career came last Saturday against Illinois State.

Entz said he would prefer to have one quarterback take the majority of the snaps and not use a platoon-type system in which two players split equal snaps under center.

“My preference would be to have a guy," Entz said. "I haven’t been around too many teams who have had to platoon, or had multiple quarterbacks play.”

Entz said Bison first-year running backs coach Joe Beschorner, who was previously the offensive coordinator at Minnesota State Mankato, helped coach a Mavericks team that made it to a Division II national title game with a platoon system at QB.

“We do have a coach on staff who is familiar with doing that," Entz said. "I’m not saying that’s what we want to do or that’s what we want to become, but the spring is unique in so many ways so why not add another.”