GAME OF THE WEEK
Augsburg at St. Thomas, 1:10 p.m. Saturday: Augsburg (5-2, 4-2 MIAC) brings its potent offense to O'Shaughnessy Stadium. The Auggies, coming off a 38-31 loss to Concordia (Moorhead), are averaging 37 points and 483 yards of offense. St. Thomas (7-0, 5-0) defeated Hamline 51-9 last Saturday for its 31st consecutive regular-season victory.
WEEK 9 STORY LINES
End of an era? St. John's plays host to Gustavus on Saturday in what could be the final home game for coach John Gagliardi. The Johnnies play their final two regular-season games on the road -- at Hamline (Nov. 3) and at Bethel (Nov. 10). The Johnnies (3-4, 2-4 MIAC) are 2-2 in home games this season. Only twice (1956 and 1978) in Gagliardi's 60 seasons in Collegeville have the Johnnies had a losing record in home games. Gagliardi, who has 487 victories in 64 seasons as a college coach, has directed the Johnnies to a 242-51-4 record (.822 winning percentage) in home games.
Mavericks top team in region: Unbeaten Minnesota State Mankato (8-0) is ranked No. 1 in Super Region #3 in the first NCAA Division II Super Region rankings of the season. Three other NSIC teams were ranked in the poll -- Minnesota Duluth (No. 6), Winona State (No. 7) and Sioux Falls (No. 8). Last year, Super Region #3 was made up of 42 teams from three conferences (NSIC, RMAC and GLIAC) competing for the region's six playoff spots. This year, 48 teams from four conferences (NSIC, MIAA, GAC and GNAC) are competing for the six playoff spots.
Division III region rankings: The first NCAA Division III regional rankings will be released by the NCAA on Wednesday. St. Thomas and Bethel are expected to be ranked in the West Region top 10. Concordia (Moorhead), which is 6-1, also could be ranked. The NCAA ranks 10 teams in each of four regions. Thirty-two teams qualify for the Division III playoffs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Erik Peterson, QB, Bethel: The 6-1 sophomore from Orono, who is second in the MIAC in completion percentage (68.1), was nearly perfect in the Royals' 41-21 over Gustavus last Saturday. Peterson completed 27 of 29 passes (93.1 percent -- a school single-game record) for 315 yards (the first 300-yard game by a Bethel QB since 2003) and three TDs.
Adam Thielen, WR, MSU Mankato: The 6-3 senior from Detroit Lakes, Minn., who had 10 receptions for 128 yards and three TDs in the Mavericks' 30-20 victory over Winona State, is tied for third in the NSIC with 46 receptions. He is third on the school's career reception list (170), third in career receiving yards (2,331) and fourth in career receiving TDs (17).
BY THE NUMBERS
5 Touchdown passes (out of seven completions) for Northwestern (Roseville) in a 47-26 victory over Martin Luther.
15 Field goals made by MSU Mankato's Sam Brockshus this season. The school's single-season record is 16.
20 Consecutive times that St. Thomas has defeated Augsburg in St. Paul. The last time the Auggies won at O'Shaughnessy Stadium was in 1970.