Area college football: Tommies-Bethel on Saturday

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 21, 2011 - 6:46 AM

Saturday's story lines

• Third-ranked St. Thomas (7-0), which has won 21 consecutive games and 16 in a row in the MIAC, plays at No. 10 Bethel (5-1) in a rematch of last season's NCAA quarterfinal. The Royals won that one; this time around, they boast the 10th-best rushing attack in Division III (291 yards per game), while the Tommies' defense against the run is No. 2 in the nation (44.7 yards per game).

• After a bye week, St. John's (2-4) will try to get its season back on track at Gustavus (1-5). The Johnnies have lost three in a row for the first time since 1983, and you have to go back to 1924 to find the last time both of these teams had losing records when they played each other.

• The week began with good news for St. Olaf (5-1), which moved into the D-III national rankings at No. 24. The Oles have won three consecutive games since losing their MIAC opener to St. Thomas, but they face a tough test at Augsburg (4-2), which hopes to rebound from a pair of losses after starting its season 4-0.

• Bemidji State's game at the University of Mary (3-4) marks only the third time this season the No. 20 Beavers (6-1) have played on the road. A victory would make them 7-1 for the first time since 1984.

• St. Scholastica (6-0), which remains atop the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference with a 5-0 league record, plays winless Crown in a game that isn't likely to end the Saints' run of 10 consecutive victories. They lead Division III in turnover margin, forcing 21 while losing the ball only five times.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brandon Marquardt, running back, Bethel

The Royals had high hopes for this transfer from Minnesota State Mankato, and the freshman has delivered impressively. Against Gustavus last week, Marquardt carried the ball 12 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns, along with two catches for 43 yards and another score. He stands second in the MIAC in rushing yards (587) and yards per game (97.8).

Charles Gilbert, wide receiver, Concordia (St. Paul)

The senior known for his big-play capabilities has caught a touchdown pass in each of the Golden Bears' seven games this season, including a 46-yarder in last week's upset of No. 24 Wayne State. Gilbert, whose team plays at Winona State on Saturday, leads the NSIC in receiving yards (722) and touchdowns (eight) and averages 23.3 yards per catch.

BY THE NUMBERS

55 Length in yards of a field goal by Minnesota Duluth's David Nadeau in last week's victory over Mary; it broke a 34-year-old record for the longest in school history.

30 Career wins for St. Cloud State coach Scott Underwood, who reached that mark with last week's defeat of Southwest Minnesota State -- and did it in only his fourth season, the first Huskies coach to win 30 games that quickly.

6,035 Career passing yards for Augsburg quarterback Marcus Brumm, who threw for 278 yards in last week's loss to Concordia to become the third quarterback in school history to reach 6,000 passing yards.

14 Touchdowns this season for Concordia fullback Brett Baune, who has the most in the MIAC after scoring twice last week against Augsburg.

3 Interceptions by St. Scholastica defensive back Justin Trautmiller, who tied his own school record to help the Saints earn a critical victory last week over Westminster.

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