Sioux offense shines in 49-24 winLandry throws 4 TD passes, 3 to Hardin
GRAND FORKS, N.D.--The Jake Landry-Greg Hardin combination is quickly becoming a lethal -- and winning -- formula for the Fighting Sioux combination.
For the third week in a row, the pair hooked up for several explosive plays to lead an offensive onslaught by the Sioux that totaled more than 500 yards of offense in a 49-24 win over Northwestern State this afternoon at the Alerus Center.
Landry, UND's senior quarterback, connected with the freshman Hardin for three first half scoring strikes that turned an early three-point Sioux deficit into an 18-point halftime lead.
After NSU opened the scoring on a 28-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, Landry found Hardin on UND's first play from scrimmage, hitting him in stride for a picture-perfect 52-yard pass-and-run connection.
The Demons regained the lead on the ensuing possesion when Adrian Reese hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from tailback Rumeall Morris, but the Sioux again countered with the Landry-Hardin counterpunch in the second quarter. Scrimmaging from the UND 24 to start, Landry found Hardin on a crossing pattern at the sideline, and Hardin turned it up field with no defender in sight to make it a 14-10 lead.
UND extende the lead with another big passing play on the next connection when Landry found a wide-open Chris Anderson down the seam for a 71-yard touchdown.
After a Justin Belotti interception in NSU territory late in the half, the Sioux again turned to the quick-strike offense. On the first play of the drive from the 33, Landry heaved the ball into the end zone where Hardin's defender had fallen, and Hardin hauled in his third TD grab of the day and fifth of the season.
The Sioux took to the ground game in the second half and on the second play of the quarter, junior running back Josh Murray scampered 74 yards for a touchdown to make it a 35-10 UND lead.
The Demons responded with a pair of touchdowns late in the third quarter, but a 1-yard Jake Miller score and a 60-yard Murray punt return in the fourth quarter sealed the win.
Landry finished the day 13-for-21 for 300 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Sioux to 524 yards of total offense. Hardin finished with five catches for 177 yards and three scores, tying the school record for touchdown catches in a regular season game.
UND's ground game accounted for 224 yards on the day, led by Murray's 121 (14 carries) and Miller's 49 (13 carries).
NSU finished with 398 yards of total offense, 308 of which came through the air. Paul Harris went 19-for-36 for 247 yards and two scores. Reese caught seven passes for 123 yards while T.C. Henry added three catches for 100 yards.
UND returns to action next Saturday at South Dakota, the Great West Conference opener for both teams.