Visiting Sacramento State controlled the clock and the scoreboard on Saturday afternoon at the Alerus Center, posting a 31-7 victory over North Dakota in Big Sky action. The Hornets (4-4, 3-1 BSC) used a 14-minute advantage in time of possession and a balanced offensive attack to deal UND (2-5, 1-3 BSC) its fifth straight home loss.
Sacramento State had several long drives, including a 14-play, 99-yard scoring drive right before the end of the half to take a 17-0 lead into the intermission.
Whether it was turnovers, untimely penalties or uncharacteristic dropped passes, the UND offense could never get on track, finishing with a season-low 216 yards of total offense.
Sophomore Jameer Jackson led the unit, catching seven balls for 60 yards and rushing for 29 yards, which were both team highs. Redshirt freshman Joe Mollberg finished the game 18-for-39 for 167 with three interceptions.
The team's lone scoring drive came after the defense forced a SAC punt on the visitor's opening drive of the second half. Mollberg marched the team down on a 16-play, 73-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by junior Adam Shaugabay.
Shaugabay's team-leading sixth rushing touchdown of the season made it a 17-7 contest, but that would be as close as the Green and White would get in t his one.
SAC quarterback Garrett Safron and his unit answered UND's touchdown with one of their own, going on an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with the Hornets' signal caller finding Cole Hikutini from 26 yards out for his lone scoring strike of the day.
Mollberg had UND going in for another score following the impressive 16-play drive, but an 11-play drive stalled when SAC linebacker Todd Davis came away his team's third interception of the game on the Hornets' five-yard line.
Davis also had a team-high eight tackles and two sacks to lead the Hornets' best defensive effort of the season. Safron, who did have two rushing touchdowns to his credit, was efficient through the air as well, completing 19-of-24 passes for 202 yards.
Fullback Brandon Kellermann, a converted junior college linebacker, rushed 27 times for 119 yards and a touchdown, while freshman Jordan Robinson added 10 carries for 51 yards.
Senior safety Will Lewis, who started in place of the injured Baylee Carr, and senior linebacker Garrison Goodman each tallied 10 total tackles to lead the UND defense. For Lewis and fellow safety Cam Kuksa, their 10 tackle and nine-tackle efforts, respectively, were both career highs.
After playing six of its first seven games at home, North Dakota takes to the road for the next two games, heading to Portland State next Saturday for 3:05 p.m. CT kickoff.
Courtesy: UND Athletics