Area college football: UMD goes to St. Cloud

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 28, 2011 - 6:50 AM

SATURDAY'S STORY LINES

• No. 6 Minnesota Duluth plays at No. 11 St. Cloud State in a game that could decide the champion of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Both teams are 7-1 overall, 6-1 in the NSIC and on five-game winning streaks; the Bulldogs are ranked third in the first NCAA Super Region rankings released Monday, while the Huskies are fifth.

• No. 3 St. Thomas (8-0) can clinch a share of the MIAC championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs with a victory against Gustavus (1-6). The Tommies have won 13 of 14 home games since Glenn Caruso became coach in 2008.

• Concordia (6-2) has won four games in a row, its longest winning streak since 2005, heading into its home game against No. 20 Bethel (5-2). Cobbers quarterback Michael Dunham needs 166 passing yards to break the school's career record (4,889), and fullback Brett Baune needs four touchdowns to break Concordia's single-season mark of 19.

• Another MIAC team will try to extend a four-game winning streak as St. Olaf (6-1) plays host to Hamline (0-7). The Pipers scored two touchdowns in last week's loss to Concordia, ending a string of four shutout losses, but they still are seeking their first victory under first-year coach John Pate.

• The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference holds its annual Dome Day this weekend, with the league's 10 members playing five games at the Metrodome. Highlights include league leader St. Scholastica (7-0) vs. Presentation (3-4) at 7 p.m. Friday; Minnesota-Morris (4-4) vs. Greenville (4-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday; and Northwestern (5-3) vs. Eureka (4-3) at 4 p.m. Saturday.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Phillip Klaphake, QB, St. Cloud State

After missing two games because of an injury, the junior threw for a career-high 342 yards in last week's rout of Minnesota, Crookston -- and he only played in the first half. Klaphake completed 14 of 21 passes, including one for an 82-yard touchdown, and now has 4,207 career passing yards.

Jon Lien, RB, Carleton

The senior sealed a victory over Macalester last Saturday with a 25-yard TD run in overtime, ending an incredible day in which he ran for 259 yards and three TDs on 28 carries. Lien broke a 48-year-old school record for most rushing yards in a game and surpassed the 2,000-yard mark for his career; the 259 yards also are the most by a MIAC player and fourth most in Division III this season.

BY THE NUMBERS

9 Consecutive games with a touchdown catch for Concordia-St. Paul's Charles Gilbert, who leads the NSIC with 755 receiving yards and is second with nine touchdowns.

7 Victories in a row for Minnesota Duluth over St. Cloud State, the Bulldogs' longest winning streak in a series that dates to 1933.

59 Consecutive extra points for St. Thomas kicker Tim Albright, who also made a 48-yard field goal -- the longest by the Tommies since 1990 -- in last Saturday's victory over Bethel.

23  Turnovers forced by St. Scholastica, with only five lost -- tying it with Mount Union for the best turnover margin in Division III.

12.14 Tackles per game for Minnesota State Moorhead linebacker Jeff Schuette, ranking him fifth in Division II.

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