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College preview: A look at the UMAC

  • August 31, 2012 - 6:44 AM

A look at the Minnesota teams in the nine-member UMAC:

St. Scholastica (10-1 in 2011): Returns 14 starters from last year's squad, which went unbeaten in the regular season before losing to St. Thomas in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Tyler Harper and Stephen Jensen are competing for the starting QB vacancy left by the graduated Alex Thiry. The Saints also lost LB Sean Graskey (UMAC defensive player of the year) and LB J.P. Leary to graduation.

Northwestern (6-4): Rebounded from an uncharacteristic 1-8 season in 2010 to finish third in the UMAC. The Eagles, picked fourth in the UMAC preseason poll, have 10 returning starters, including QB Josh Balzer, a three-year starter, and DL Josh Swore, the UMAC lineman of the year.

Minnesota-Morris (5-5): Picked sixth in the UMAC preseason poll with 18 returning starters. Leandro Dower, who rushed for a team-high 784 yards and six TDs, and WR Brendon Foss, who caught 11 touchdown passes last season as a sophomore, return. LB Cody Hickman, who led the Cougars with 106 tackles last season as a freshman, anchors the defense.

Martin Luther (2-7): Seventh in the UMAC preseason poll, returns seven starters on offense and six on defense. All-conference OL Eric Duve and RB Tyler Dorn, who rushed for 668 yards and 11 TDs, return.

Crown (0-10): Struggled last season after graduating 15 senior starters from its successful 2010 team (6-3). It has seven returning starters on offense, including running back Amos Schmidt, who rushed for 545 yards and 10 touchdowns.

 

Macalester (4-5): Begins fifth season under coach Tony Jennison with 76 players in camp. RB T. Joe Loiselle, who rushed for 940 yards and six TDs, and QB Clark Bledsoe, who passed for 1,564 yards and 15 TDs, return for their senior seasons.

JOEL RIPPEL

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