GAME OF THE WEEK
Winona State (8-0, 4-0 NSIC South) at MSU Mankato (8-0, 4-0), 1 p.m., Saturday: Winona State, off to its best season start since 1998, is ranked No. 10 — the Warriors’ top ranking since 2004 — in the AFCA Division II poll. MSU Mankato is ranked No. 4. Winona State has won the past two meetings against the Mavericks. Last year, the Warriors edged the Mavericks 34-31 in Winona.
WEEK 9 STORY LINES
• Division II regional rankings: The first rankings of the season were released on Monday and the NSIC has four teams ranked in Super Region Four. Winona State ranks first in the region, while MSU Mankato is third, Sioux Falls sixth and Minnesota Duluth 10th. Seven teams from each of the four super regions will qualify for the 28-team Division II playoff field. Super Region Four is made up of teams from the NSIC, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Lone Star Conference and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
• MCAC playoffs begin: The MCAC playoffs will begin on Sunday with four games — NDSCS at Northland, Mesabi Range at Rochester, Ridgewater at Dakota College and Vermilion at Central Lakes. The semifinals will be held on Nov. 4, with the championship game to be played at St. Cloud State on Nov. 12. Eastern Division champion Central Lakes (7-1, 4-1) and Western Division champion Dakota College (7-1. 5-0) had the top records during the regular season.
• Midwest showdown: Midwest Conference North Division co-leaders St. Norbert (5-2, 3-0 MWC North) and Macalester (5-2, 3-0) play in St. Paul on Saturday. The winner can clinch a spot in the Midwest Conference championship game on Nov. 11. Macalester was picked to finish third in the MWC North Division preseason poll behind St. Norbert and U. of Chicago.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Christian Adams, QB, Macalester: The senior from Alexandria, La., leads the Midwest Conference in passing yards (1,880). Adams has thrown 15 TD passes. Last week, he passed for 291 yards and four TDs in the Scots’ 47-31 over Ripon.
Jackson Erdmann, QB, St. John’s: The sophomore from Rosemount is second among Division III passers in efficiency rating at 191.5. Last week, Erdmann passed for 320 yards and five TDs in the Johnnies’ 41-17 victory over Gustavus. All his TD passes were in the first half.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 Consecutive victories for St. Olaf (4-3, 3-2 MIAC). It is the Oles’ longest winning streak since the 2012 season.
7 Consecutive victories for St. Scholastica over Eureka. The Saints (7-1, 7-0 UMAC) play at Eureka (6-2, 6-1) on Saturday.
33 Years since Minnesota Duluth had recorded consecutive shutouts before shutting out Northern State (41-0 on Oct. 14) and Minot State (37-0 on Oct. 21).