GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota football players are pleased with the new artificial turf in the Alerus Center. The team practiced on the new field for the first time Sunday. Defensive lineman Ross Brenneman tells the Grand Forks Herald that the turf is easier on the knees, and nicer to run on. He says it will speed up the tempo of practices. UND earlier this year agreed to put $2 million toward the $3.8 million project at the city-owned arena where the football team plays its home games. UND opens the season against South Dakota Mines on Thursday night.