Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- With significant personnel changes on the team's offensive unit, University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) football defensive leaders know they will be relied upon more heavily entering the 2013 season. "A lot of the guys have talked about the fact that it's going to be a defensive year," senior captain Colby Ring said. "We're going to have to step up and carry it like the offense did for us a few games last year." UMD's defense last season allowed 23.4 points and 281 yards per game, and the unit also helped the team to a plus-eight margin in the turnover ratio. Safety Cameron Harper and defensive end Joe Akey are the biggest losses from last year's unit, but this year's guys seem prepared to deal with it. "As a defense, you always pride yourself on depth," senior captain Nate Zuk said. "Our motto is 'Next Man Up,' so if a guy goes down or graduates, the next guy gets his shot." UMD will open the season on Sept. 7 at home against the University of Sioux Falls, with that game to be shown live on the My 9 Sports Network. Posted by Zach Schneider Bio - Facebook - Twitter - E-Mail