Samuel Mustari covers Northern Colorado for the Greeley Tribune and answered five questions from the Daily Chronicle about the Bears’ matchup with Montana State this week.
1Northern Colorado quarterback Jacob Knipp stands out on this Bears team. What are some of his strengths from your perspective?
Knipp has a very strong arm, in fact one that NFL scouts love. His biggest downfall is that he stays in the pocket too long, thus the high number of sacks.
2Montana State has often been able to pressure the quarterback. Do you see the Bobcats getting to Knipp often?
Yes, getting to Knipp could be key for MSU. UNC’s offensive line is pedestrian at best.
3UNC’s run game goes through Milo Hall. How successful do you think he can be against MSU’s stout run defense?
Hall is a short, powerful runner. He doesn’t go down on the first hit. He twists, turns and uses his low center of gravity to his advantage. He plays a lot bigger than his size.
4The Bobcats have been fairly one-dimensional on offense as they’ve leaned on their run game. Do you see that as a weakness the Bears could take advantage of?
Not sure. UNC’s run defense has been suspect a lot this season. If the Bobcats are forced to be a run-only team (like Idaho State was), the Bears seem to adjust accordingly. Linebacker Luke Nelson can really come up and help the defensive line when necessary.
5The Bears are fresh off their win over Idaho State. What do you think they’ll have to do to keep that momentum going at home?
UNC needs to have a fast start. Realize, this team is actually playing for head coach Earnest Collins Jr.’s job also. Nobody mentions it, but his job is still on the line. The program is in good shape, but the wins/losses are not.