GAME OF THE WEEK
Bemidji State (1-0) at MSU Mankato (1-0), 6 p.m., Saturday: Bemidji State, which was 7-4 (6-1 in the NSIC North) last season, is coming off a 38-24 victory over Upper Iowa on Sept. 1. MSU Mankato, ranked No. 7 in Division II, opened the season with a 35-7 victory over Minot State. The Mavericks have won their past 18 games against opponents from the NSIC North.
WEEK 2 STORY LINES
• Gustavus kicked off its 100th season of football with a 35-6 victory over Westminster (Mo.) last Saturday. The Gusties got a big boost from senior Luke Martinez, who missed all last season because of injury, and sophomore Michael Veldman, who made his first career start at QB. Gustavus plays host to UW-River Falls on Saturday.
• St. John’s, ranked No. 8 in Division III, opened the season with a strong defensive display. In a 49-7 victory over St. Scholastica, the Johnnies allowed only 97 yards and forced five turnovers. The SJU defense will get a road test Saturday at Buena Vista (Iowa).
• Southwest Minnesota State, coming off its best season since 1995 (8-3), opened its schedule with a stunning 42-38 come-from-behind victory over No. 19 Minnesota Duluth. The victory ended the Mustangs’ eight-game losing streak to the Bulldogs (dating to 1999) and was the first in program history over a team ranked in the Division II Top 25. The Mustangs will be looking to keep their momentum going on the road Saturday at Northern State.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bryce Marquardt, WR, Bethel: The senior from Champlin caught 10 passes for 222 yards and three TDs in the Royals’ season-opening loss to Dubuque (Ia.). Injuries limited Marquardt to 13 receptions for 226 yards in three games last season.
Gunner Olszewski, CB, Bemidji State: The sophomore from Alvin, Texas, had a career-high 17 tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception in the Beavers’ 38-24 victory over Upper Iowa. Olszewski was a preseason All-America.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 Tackles for loss by St. John’s against St. Scholastica as the Johnnies allowed fewer than 100 yards for the first time since 2006.
70 Points allowed by Bethel in its season-opening loss at Dubuque. The Royals allowed only 86 points in their first six games last season.
116 Times Macalester and Hamline have played in football. The teams, which first met in 1887, play again Saturday. Hamline leads the series 68-44-4.