North Dakota Fighting Sioux (5-5) at Central Arkansas Bears (5-6)
The Sports Network
By Brett Kahn, FCS Assistant Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 28th, 2 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: First Security Field Estes Stadium (8,500) -- Conway, Arkansas. Surface: Grass. Television: None. Home Record: North Dakota 4-1; Central Arkansas 3-2. Away Record: North Dakota 1-4; Central Arkansas 2-4. Series Record: First meeting. Conference: North Dakota - Great West; Central Arkansas - Southland. Sports Network Ranking: North Dakota (NR); Central Arkansas (NR). Coaches: North Dakota - Chris Mussman (11-9); Central Arkansas - Clint Conque (73-42).
GAME NOTES: North Dakota and Central Arkansas close out their 2009 seasons in the first ever meeting between the two schools.
Both are transitional Division II teams and are starting to build their resumes. North Dakota nearly won the Great West Conference title this season, while UCA finished atop the Southland Conference unofficially last season.
The Bears are coming off a 21-17 loss to McNeese State. UCA's offense has struggled of late, but features standouts in quarterback Robbie Park (2,170 yards passing, 13 TDs), All-SLC running back Brent Grimes (1,085 yards rushing, 17 TDs) and wide receiver Preston Echols (37 catches, 11.9 average, two TDs). The unit has scored just 31 points in the past two games.
Defensively, the Bears are more sound with Buchanan Award nominee Larry Hart (29 tackles, 10 tackles for loss) carrying the unit at defensive end. He is joined by linebacker Jacob Bane (85 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss) and free safety Derrick Boyd (54 tackles, three pass breakups.
North Dakota fell to UC Davis, 28-20 in the Great West title game last weekend. The Fighting Sioux offense has put up 81 points in the past three games, with quarterback Jake Landry (1,768 yards of total offense, 12 TDs) leading the effort. He is joined on the unit by freshman running back Mitch Sutton (609 yards rushing, six TDs) and wide receiver Ismael Bamba (51 catches, 15.9 average).
Defensively, UND has struggled to keep opponents' from putting up points. The unit has surrendered at least 28 points in five games this season. The unit features cornerback Joel Schwenzfeier (52 tackles, five interceptions) and linebacker Ryan Kasowski (32 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss).
The Bears are likely the favorite in this matchup, due to the fact they play in a tougher conference are better on offense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Central Arkansas 38, North Dakota 21.
11/27 15:45:33 ET