SATURDAY'S STORY LINES
• Bemidji State, which plays host to MSU Moorhead, climbed into the NCAA Division II rankings this week at No. 23. The Beavers (5-1) are the stingiest team in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference; a defense that allows only 12.8 points per game has helped them join NSIC colleagues Minnesota Duluth (No. 9), St. Cloud State (No. 16) and Wayne (Neb.) State (No. 24) in the top 25.
• After a strong effort in last week's loss to No. 3 St. Thomas, Augsburg (4-1) will look to its two offensive stars -- quarterback Marcus Brumm and running back Tyler Maxwell -- to get back on the victory track at Concordia (4-2). Brumm needs 243 passing yards to become the third Auggies quarterback to reach 6,000 for his career, and freshman Maxwell leads the MIAC in rushing yards per game (131.8), all-purpose yards per game (149) and points per game (13.5).
• St. Scholastica (5-0) has a tough homecoming foe in Westminster (5-1), in a game that will be crucial to its hopes of earning the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference's first automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. The game features the top two scoring offenses and scoring defenses in the league.
• The long-running rivalry between St. Olaf (4-1) and Carleton (1-4) will showcase an intriguing matchup on the Oles' home field. St. Olaf, which has won 12 of the past 14 games in the series, has the top passing offense in the MIAC (273.8 yards per game), while Carleton has the league's best pass defense (111 yards per game).
• St. Cloud State (5-1) plays at Southwest Minnesota State (2-4) in a battle of the NSIC's two most prolific offenses. The Huskies lead the league with 404 yards per game; SMSU is second with 399, and running backs Gannon Moore and Warren Matthews combined last week for a school-record 397 rushing yards in a victory over MSU Moorhead.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Dan Dobson, QB, St. Olaf
Two weeks ago, the junior led the Oles to their first win at Bethel since 1992, passing for one touchdown and running for another to spark a 20-point rally in the fourth quarter. Dobson finished the game with two more touchdowns; in 15 career games, he stands sixth on St. Olaf's career passing yardage list (3,300) and fourth in passing touchdowns (35).
Brody Scheff, S, Bemidji State
The senior played a huge part in last week's 20-7 victory over Concordia (St. Paul), with three interceptions, 11 tackles and a sack. His timing was good, too; all three picks came in the second half, with two at the Bemidji State 5-yard line and one in the end zone.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 Consecutive MIAC games won by St. Thomas, its longest unbeaten streak in conference play since 1947-49.
3 Quarterbacks at Concordia (St. Paul) to pass for 300 yards in a game this season, as senior Spencer Ohm (301), sophomore James Peterson (357) and redshirt freshman Jared Russo (318) have all hit the mark.
92 Yards run by Carleton's Jordan Soteros in a kickoff return for a touchdown last week, helping him maintain his place as the MIAC's best return man.
74 Rushing yards needed by St. Cloud State running back Brandon Geiss to reach 2,000 for his career; he would be the eighth Husky to hit that number.
170 All-purpose yards per game by St. Scholastica running back Jake Jensen, who is averaging 141 on the ground -- ninth-best in Division III.