GAME OF THE WEEK
Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota State Moorhead, 2 p.m., Saturday: UMD lost two of its first three games this season yet fell to only No. 16 in the national Division II poll. Why? The losses were to top-ranked Minnesota State Mankato and No. 5 Sioux Falls. The Bulldogs handed Upper Iowa its first loss 28-24 last week and can tie for the NSIC North Division lead with a victory Saturday at MSU Moorhead. The Dragons lost for the first time this season Saturday to unbeaten Southwest Minnesota State. Key will be MSU Moorhead’s ability to slow UMD’s ground attack, which has averaged 222 yards per game, third in the NSIC.
WEEK 5 STORY LINES
• Hamline begins a tough four-game stretch Saturday with visiting St. John’s. The following three weekends: at Bethel, at St. Thomas and at home against Concordia (Moorhead). The Pipers are 2-1 and need to win one of the four games to have a shot at finishing above .500 for the first time since 1995.
• Unbeaten Southwest Minnesota State, off to its best start since 1991, will get a test Saturday at Augustana (3-1), which is averaging 37.8 points, third best in the NSIC.
• Gustavus Adolphus will be favored against Carleton and St. Olaf the next two weekends, meaning the Gusties should be 6-0 when they travel to St. John’s Oct. 17.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Blake Gimbel, QB, Southwest Minnesota State: The sophomore had five TD passes and ran for another score as Southwest Minnesota State handed MSU Moorhead its first loss of the season last Saturday. Gimbel completed 18 of 28 passes for 299 yards. He has 10 touchdown passes and just one interception on the season.
Nick Frandsen, DB, Gustavus: His 69-yard TD interception return late in the second quarter turned what had been a close game into a 35-14 Gustavus lead over Augsburg. The Gusties held on for their fourth straight victory as Frandsen had 10 tackles, six solo, and two pass breakups. The senior ranks seventh in the MIAC with 15 solo tacles.
BY THE NUMBERS
17,237 NCAA Division III attendance record at St. John’s last week to watch St. Thomas defeat Johnnies in the annual rivalry game.
40 First downs allowed by the Minnesota State, Mankato defense in four games this season. The second-best mark in the NSIC is 62 by Upper Iowa.
132.5 MIAC-leading rushing yards per game for Augsburg QB Ayrton Scott. The senior is averaging 363 yards in total offense, ninth best in Division III.