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5 things you might've missed in UND's 38-31 loss to Weber State

The Fighting Hawks fall in the first round of the FCS playoffs in Ogden, Utah.

NCAA FOOTBALL 2022: North Dakota vs Weber State NOV 26
UND running back Tyler Hoosman charges ahead for extra yards during the NCAA FCS playoff football game between the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks and the Weber State Wildcats at Stewart Stadium in Ogden, Utah, on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.
Russell Hons / UND Athletics
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OGDEN, Utah — UND bowed out of the FCS playoffs Saturday night at Weber State with a 38-31 loss against the Wildcats at Stewart Stadium.

Here are five things you might've missed during the game.

1. UND plays without Pedigo

UND's run defense started the game without one of its key pieces.

Linebacker Wyatt Pedigo, the team's third-leading tackler coming into the game, was injured last Saturday against North Dakota State.

Although Pedigo returned to the NDSU game after the injury, the inside linebacker was unable to practice during the week and didn't make the trip to Ogden.

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In Pedigo's place, UND started Kason Kelley along with Devon Krzanowski. Kelley finished with 15 tackles, while Krzanowski had 11.

With Pedigo's injury, UND was without two regulars at inside linebacker. Caden White suffered a season-ending arm injury earlier in the regular season.

"It becomes challenging," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. "We have to continue to work to create and develop depth. We're a defense that wants to rotate and keep guys fresh, and we probably didn't have that rotation today. Proud of the guys; they played hard."

2. UND scores on strange play

After falling behind 24-0, UND scored on a strange play.

Quarterback Tommy Schuster appeared to throw an incompletion on a ball that may have been batted from his hand.

The play was ruled a fumble on the field and UND running back Isaiah Smith picked up the loose ball about 10 yards down the field and ran 63 yards in for a score.

The play was reviewed and officials upheld the call on the field.

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"They said on the review, they couldn't tell for sure if the quarterback had control of the ball in his hand," Weber State coach Jay Hill said. "Those are the crazy things that happen during a game that you have to handle because it's part of the game."

3. UND was going to try to win the game

UND's comeback came up short as the Fighting Hawks weren't able to finish the last-minute drive in the fourth quarter.

Schweigert said if UND was going to score to make it 38-37, his team would've gone for a 2-point conversion rather than playing for overtime.

"We weren't going to tie the game, I'll tell you that right now," Schweigert said. "It was going to be a lot of fun."

4. Early missed opportunities

UND's defense struggled early against Weber State but there were opportunities to flip momentum.

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On Weber State's third offensive play of the game, Weber State quarterback Bronson Barron threw to a wide receiver along the sideline.

UND cornerback C.J. Siegel jumped the route but dropped the golden chance for a pick-six interception.

Later in the first half, with Weber State holding a 7-0 lead, Siegel jumped a deep route and tried to make a diving catch. The ball propelled in the air and safety Kadon Kauppinen grabbed the ball and started a return.

The play was ruled incomplete as the ball just hit the turf as Siegel attempted to secure the interception.

"We had an opportunity for a pick-six early in the game, then another one was in our hands, and it pops up," Schweigert said. "We're a team that always needs that one play to get us started and give us energy."

5. Hoosman cracks 1,000-yard mark

UND running back Tyler Hoosman, a first-year graduate transfer from Northern Iowa, capped off his impressive lone season in Grand Forks with 14 carries for 138 yards.

That yardage allowed Hoosman to crack 1,000 yards rushing for the season. He finished the year with 1,023 yards.

Hoosman was in the postgame press conference with Schweigert, as well as linebacker Devon Krzanowski, who transferred to UND from St. Cloud State a few years ago.

"If you want to model transfer guys, these two guys are it," Schweigert said of Hoosman and Krzanowski. "They came in and worked hard. They had quiet confidence. They did a great job coming in and contributing."

Hoosman is the first UND running back to break 1,000 yards in a season since John Santiago did it his freshman year in 2015. Santiago had 1,459 rushing yards that season.

Related Topics: UND FOOTBALLUND SPORTS
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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