GAME OF THE WEEK
St. Thomas at Augsburg, 1 p.m. Saturday: This is a game the unbeaten Tommies, ranked No. 9 nationally by d3football.com, should win. But Tommies coach Glenn Caruso has to approach this game with trepidation. Augsburg, led by senior QB Ayrton Scott, will put up points against everyone. Traditional MIAC powers have learned the hard way to be wary of the Auggies, who knocked Bethel out of the playoffs last season, beat St. John’s twice in a row in 2011 and 2012 and in 2013 lost to St. Thomas only 17-14. Scott is the MIAC total offense leader, and No. 4 nationally in Division III, with 363 yards per game, and the Auggies average 44.3 points per game.
WEEK 6 STORY LINES
• Minnesota Duluth junior QB Drew Bauer has the Bulldogs back on top in the NSIC North Division thanks to his 397 yards of offense in last week’s victory over MSU Moorhead. Bauer threw for three TDs and rushed for a career-high 177 yards and another score. This week UMD hosts St. Cloud State in a battle of North Division co-leaders. UMD has won 21 straight games against North Division foes.
• NSIC South Division leader Minnesota State Mankato, the top-ranked team in the nation in Division II, has a tough inter-division test Saturday against Augustana (4-1) which last week handed Southwest Minnesota State its first loss, 48-23. Minnesota State Mankato’s defense is building a national reputation. The Mavericks are No. 3 in Division II in fewest points allowed (8.0 per game), No. 5 in total defense (209.2 yards per game) and No. 7 in rushing defense (70.6 yards per game).
• Gustavus Adolphus will look to improve to 6-0 behind its amazing passing attack, which is atop several Division III national rankings. Senior QB Mitch Hendricks leads D-III with 1,626 passing yards, and receiver Matt Boyce is tops nationally with 738 receiving yards and 11 TD catches. Brother Gabriel Boyce is No. 9 nationally with 43 receptions, three more than Matt. Gustavus hosts St. Olaf (1-4) on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
John Gould, QB, St. Thomas: The senior was limited to five career starts before this season due to injuries and the presence of Matt O’Connell. But Gould is coming into his own this fall, and last week, playing less than a half, tossed four TD passes in a 54-0 victory over St. Olaf. Gould is 8-1 as a starter, and this fall has eight TD passes and two interceptions while averaging 214.8 passing yards a game.
Joshua Gorden, DE, Minnesota State Mankato: Had a pair of sacks in Mankato’s 38-10 victory over Upper Iowa last week, becoming the school’s career leader in sacks with 34.5. Gordon also returned an interception 53 yards for his second career TD. Gordon leads the NSIC with 5.5 sacks this season, and is second with 9.5 tackles for loss, spearheading one of the nation’s best Division II defenses.
BY THE NUMBERS
0 Points allowed in the second half this season by the Minnesota State Mankato defense.
835 Yards needed by Sam Sura to move past Tim Schmitz as the career rushing leader at St. John’s.
48 Penalties by Gustavus Adolphus, which ranks in the bottom five for highest number nationally in Division III. St. Scholastica is close behind with 44.