GAME OF THE WEEK
St. Thomas (3-0, 1-0 MIAC) at St. John’s (3-0, 1-0 MIAC), 1 p.m. Saturday: For the first time in the rivalry that started in 1901 both teams are ranked in the top six nationally — St. Thomas is ranked No. 4 and St. John’s No. 6 in the d3football.com poll (No. 8 in the AFCA poll). Both teams opened conference play last week with victories — the Tommies beat Carleton 62-10, while the Johnnies defeated St. Olaf 44-0. The Tommies won both meetings with St. John’s last season (35-19 at Collegeville and 38-19 in a playoff game in St. Paul).
WEEK 4 STORY LINES
• Five of the top 10 teams in the d3football.com Top 25 poll are from the West Region (which includes the MIAC and WIAC). In addition to St. Thomas and St. John’s, Wisconsin-Whitewater (No. 2), Wisconsin-Oshkosh (No. 5) Wisconsin-Platteville (No. 10) are ranked in the top 10. Two other West region teams are ranked in the poll — Linfield (No. 9) and Central of Iowa (No. 25).
• Three games highlight the final week of NSIC interdivision play: Bemidji State (3-0) at Sioux Falls (3-0), Augustana (3-0) at Minnesota Duluth (2-1) and MSU Moorhead (2-1) at MSU Mankato (2-1). Sioux Falls (No. 14), Augustana (No. 16), MSU Mankato (No. 17) and UMD (No. 21) are ranked in the d2football.com poll. Bemidji State is No. 22 in the AFCA poll.
• Going into this season, Bethel was 86-28 overall and 62-18 in the MIAC since the beginning of the 2006 season. But after losses to Dubuque, Carthage and Concordia (Moorhead), the Royals are 0-3 for the first time since 2002 (and just the second time since 1987). The Royals, who haven’t had a losing season since 1993, play at St. Olaf on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Beau Bofferding, WR, Minnesota Duluth: The senior from Marshall, Minn., is eighth in NCAA Division II in all-purpose yards (190 per game). Last week, he set a school record with 182 return yards, had 80 receiving yards and ran for 60 in the UMD’s 52-49 victory over Concordia (St. Paul).
Karim Ortiz, RB, Gustavus: A junior from Cancun, Mexico, he leads the MIAC in rushing (86 yards per game). Last week, he rushed for a career-high 180 yards to spark the Gusties to a 35-13 victory over Augsburg.
BY THE NUMBERS
4 TD passes thrown (a career high) by MSU Mankato’s Nick Pieruccini in 45-12 victory over St. Cloud State.
17 Times Winona State’s Jack Nelson has passed for at least 300 yards. He threw for 332 in Winona’s 26-7 victory last Saturday.
17,327 Fans in attendance (an NCAA Division III record) for last year’s St. Thomas-St. John’s football game.