UNC fans can be forgiven if they didn’t think that the Bears would hold on late at Idaho State. After all, the script rarely has gone that way for Northern Colorado over their stint in the FCS. Sure, there’s been the occasional close win, usually at Nottingham Field. But a road win with a late defensive stop? No, that’s not been how things have gone.
That’s what makes Saturday’s 26-20 win so much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
While Idaho State found a way to get their vaunted running game going in the second half, the Bengals still had to overcome UNC holding leads most of the day. When ISU did take the lead, the Bears had answers–even with the kicking game failing to uphold its end of things. There was great balance on offense and, defensively, the game plan worked to boost the team by gaining four turnovers on the day–largely through the efforts of Michael Walker and Aaron Harris. Harris had his first career interception to seal the game after recovering a fumble earlier in the game. Walker picked off two passes and it was his strip of a WR running a sweep for ISU that became the fumble Harris picked up.
Add to mix the fact the win came against a team that had gone 10-3 over the past three seasons at home and the joyous flight home was because of players keeping their heads in the game, overcoming mistakes in a way they hadn’t this season and remaining confident in their abilities and in their coaches.
Next up: Montana State, 12:00pm, 11/9
Audio: Earnest Collins, Jr, post-game interview with Aaron Rath