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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published November 17 2012

UND's fourth-guarter gamble falls short

GREELEY, Colo. – On Saturday, there wouldn’t be another Zeb Miller miracle at Nottingham Field.

One year after Miller kicked a late 54-yard field goal to beat Northern Colorado, North Dakota opted against a 51-yard Miller attempt and was stuffed on fourth-and-short with 47 seconds remaining to seal the Bears’ 28-27 win over UND.

North Dakota, completing its first season in the Big Sky Conference, finishes the season 5-6 overall and 3-5 in the league.

“Fifty-some yards or half of a yard,” UND coach Chris Mussman said of his last-minute decision to run Jer Garman up the middle on fourth-and-1 from the UNC 34. “We had 40-some seconds left. We wanted to leave no doubt. But we

didn’t get it done. That’s plain and simple.

“I thought we could get half of a yard. The kids were excited and wanted to go for it, although that’s not why you go for it. Quite frankly, I thought we were out of our (kicking) range.”

On fourth-and-1 with 47 seconds left, Northern Colorado called a timeout. At first, UND lined up to attempt the 51-yard attempt. However, the UND offense came back onto the field and tried to run up the middle with Garman, who was stuffed by UNC linebacker Herve Tonye-Tonye.

“Our guys laid it all out there,” Mussman said. “We just came up short. That’s the name of the game. It’s frustrating right now.”

Northern Colorado defensive back Marcel Gibbonshad two interceptions in the second half.

North Dakota 14 10 3 0 – 27

N. Colorado 7 14 7 0 – 28

First Quarter

NoCo – Jac.Davis 21 pass from Lobato (Eden kick), 9:58.

NDAK – Hardin 24 pass from B.Hanson (Z.Miller kick), 8:36.

NDAK – J.Miller 36 pass from B.Hanson (Z.Miller kick), 1:27.

Second Quarter

NoCo – Dennis 1 run (Eden kick), 11:57.

NDAK – Wisthoff 1 pass from B.Hanson (Z.Miller kick), 6:02.

NoCo – Dennis 67 run (Eden kick), 4:21.

NDAK – FG Z.Miller 27, :03.

Third Quarter

NDAK – FG Z.Miller 27, 7:07.

NoCo – Monson 23 pass from Lobato (Eden kick), 4:16.

A – 3,418.

NDAK NoCo

First downs 25 22

Rushes-yards 24-82 33-231

Passing 382 210

Comp-Att-Int 34-48-3 20-35-1

Return Yards 25 55

Punts-Avg. 3-39.7 3-35.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1

Penalties-Yards 4-40 7-67

Time of Possession 29:02 30:58

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: North Dakota, J.Miller 12-54, Garman 6-14, Hardin 1-9,

Hendrickson 2-3, B.Hanson 3-2. N. Colorado, Dennis 28-222, Monson 1-5,

Lobato 2-5, Team 2-(minus 1).

PASSING: North Dakota, B.Hanson 34-48-3-382. N. Colorado,

Lobato 20-35-1-210.

RECEIVING: North Dakota, Hardin 8-109, Jackson 7-73, J.Miller 5-77,

Townsend 5-39, Golladay 4-52, Magstadt 2-15, Wisthoff 2-9, Adler 1-8. N.

Colorado, Stimphil 6-52, Jac.Davis 4-51, Gunn 3-34, Wilbers 3-18,

Jefferson 2-22, Monson 1-23, Steele 1-10.

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Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald