The North Dakota football team has one of the most intriguing 2013 schedules in the Football Championship Subdivision and it all starts on Thursday night when Valparaiso comes to the Alerus Center. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. as the Crusaders will be just the fifth August opponent for UND.
The Green and White are also just one of two FCS teams that will play its first four games of the 2013 season at home. That has not been the case for a UND since the 1955 squad opened its campaign with four straight home contests.
The three teams that follow Valpo into town are currently ranked in both The Sports Network/Fathead.com and FCS Coaches' Top 25 polls.
• Valparaiso and North Dakota have gone 92 seasons since meeting on Thanksgiving Day in 1920. It is the longest stretch between a game in a series in UND history. Valpo won that day by the score of 20-10 in the only previous matchup between the teams.
• UND improved to 87-29-1 with its 66-0 victory over South Dakota Mines in the 2012 season opener.
• This is the second time in three seasons that UND has opened its schedule with a team from the Pioneer Football League. UND blanked Drake 16-0 in 2011.
• August games have been a rarity for UND, but they've also been good to the program. UND improved to 5-0 in the month in 2012 after posting a 66-0 victoy over South Dakota Mines on Aug. 30.
• UND's blanking of SD Mines was its 41st in a season opener. It was the second straight shutout in a season opener, including that win over the Bulldogs in 2011.
• The win over the Hardrockers was also the 23rd straight home-opening win for UND and the 66 points were the most ever scored in a season opener.