NDSU Head Coach Matt Entz addressed the media today to recap the Herd’s 34-17 victory over South Dakota as well as look towards the matchup with Youngstown State this Saturday. For 19 minutes Coach Entz gave his positive/negatives from the previous game, and took questions from members of the media. The whole press conference can be found below. We will dive into the major takeaways here.
Opening Positive Thoughts
The first big positive that Coach Entz brought up was his team’s physicality with the ball in their hands. The Herd thrives on running the ball, and overall toughness. Entz said “I thought we ran the ball extremely hard. I thought we had a lot of yards after contact.” He went on to single out impressive carries and runs after receptions.
Another key point made by Coach Entz was that the kicking game is starting to look much better. The unit delivered two key kicks when they were really needed. Entz praised, “From the snap, to the hold, to the kick, it was good to see consistency out of that group.” This group has been a weakness for the Herd, but focusing on improvement during practice has led to improved play on the field.
A couple other noteworthy quotes relating to the field goal kicking squad. As related to the issues facing the kicker Griffin Crosa, Entz felt that he was having issues getting lift on the ball. Crosa was getting a lot of drive behind it leading to the middle push getting block opportunities. Improvements are being made there though.
Lastly, Entz was asked about the range he felt good with for his kickers. Essentially it came down to anything from the 20 yard line and in, he was comfortable sending Crosa. Anything further and he would look towards Will Cardinal.
His final positive highlight of his opening statement was highlighting the defensive dominance on third down. Being able to hold the Coyotes to 1-10 on third down was key to owning the time of possession, and winning the game.
Overall, Entz felt that once the kids started to get out of their own way, and stop trying to do more than they needed to the game started going their way. He felt that was a key to the halftime turnaround.
Areas Entz is Looking for Improvement
The first thing Entz brought up that he wants to see improvement in going forward was the redzone offense. In 7 trips the offense only finished the drive with a TD. Luckily the kicking game had made the strides it did because it allowed 2 of the remaining 3 trips to still result in points.
Ball security was another focal point. Entz specifically pointed out the final two minutes of the first half as something he had never seen before. The two turnovers during that time swing the momentum and gave the Coyotes the halftime lead.
Lastly, the penalties were inexcusable. the Bison finished with 5 for 64 yards. Entz highlighted three of them that were completely “intolerable.” Two of which were personal fouls. Coach Entz did give a look into his thoughts on how to fix the issue that has been a weekly issue. Describing it similar to raising a child. Educating the kids on making good choices, to follow directions.
Key Notes From Press Conference
- TE Noah Gindorff continues to have issues with his ankle. Hasn’t healed as well as he and his family had hoped. TE Joe Stoffel will be the one to fill in for Gindorff as needed.
- OL Nash Jensen is day to day with an injury.
- We saw 2 Mike LBs, Nick Kubitz and Luke Weerts, have strong games. Entz believed that both players had their best game of the season. He also added that the two will be rotating at the position allowing for continued high levels of success at the position, and on special teams because both are key SP Teams players as well.
What to Watch for Saturday
Coach Entz gave a few players on the Youngstown roster that the team is going to have to be prepared for, as well as some eye catching stats.
Youngstown’s defense has piled up 28 TFLs in three games. The OL of the Bison is going to have to show up to be able to maintain their dominant run game.
On the other side of the ball, Youngstown will be fielding one of the most potent rushing attacks in college football. They have a historically producing RB, and their OL has only given up 9 TFLs on the year. The defense needs to be ready for a grind it out, hard fought trench battle.
Coach Entz mentioned QB Demeatric Crenshaw as a player to watch. He felt that the QB has made improvements since last season. Coach also believes that Crenshaw has a great rapport with talented WR Bryce Oliver. Stopping the passing game will hinge on locking down Oliver.
Coming off a bye week, Youngstown State will be ready to go. We are in store for a great matchup! Tune into the Our Team NDSU Twitter page for in game coverage this Saturday starting at 1 pm.