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Published September 19, 2013, 08:56 AM

Holtz lobbies for UND-NDSU football matchup

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Former Notre Dame football coach and current ESPN analyst Lou Holtz thinks North Dakota and North Dakota State should resume their football rivalry, but UND athletic director Brian Faison said there hasn't been any movement on the issue for some time.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Former Notre Dame football coach and current ESPN analyst Lou Holtz thinks North Dakota and North Dakota State should resume their football rivalry, but UND athletic director Brian Faison said there hasn't been any movement on the issue for some time.

Holtz, who was in Grand Forks this week to speak at an oil conference, suggested that the Legislature take action to get the rivalry renewed.

The rivalry stopped when NDSU moved from the NCAA Division II level to the Division I ranks in 2004. UND followed a few year later, but the two schools are not in the same conference, and that has made scheduling a matchup difficult.

Last year, UND mentioned some possible dates for a game in 2015 and 2017, but Faison told the Grand Forks Herald on Wednesday that nothing has come of it.

"We're in the same place we've been for a while," he said.

One sticking point in resuming the series is how often the teams should play. NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor has said that playing every other year is the best option, while Faison has said he would prefer to play every year.

Action from the Legislature to force the teams to play wouldn't be unprecedented, as lawmakers in other states have taken similar action. Legislative pressure in Iowa, for example, resulted in Northern Iowa competing against Iowa and Iowa State. A bill also was introduced in the Texas House of Representatives earlier this year to require Texas and Texas A&M to play each other each season.

UND and NDSU played 110 times before the rivalry stopped, with UND leading the series 62-45-3. The winner of the annual game received the Nickel Trophy, a 75-pound replica of the U.S. buffalo nickel. UND won the trophy in 2003, the last time the teams met on the gridiron.

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