GAME OF THE WEEK
St. Scholastica (10-0, 9-0 UMAC) at St. John's (9-1, 7-1 MIAC), noon, Saturday: The first-ever meeting between the two programs is a homecoming for St. Scholastica coach Kurt Ramler, who played at St. John's and was an assistant coach for the Johnnies in 2013. The Saints are making their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. The Johnnies, making their first playoff appearance since 2009, have been led by Sam Sura, a junior from St. South Paul, who has rushed for a school-record 1,605 yards this season. The Johnnies have allowed just 12.3 points per game.
UMD opens at home: Minnesota Duluth (11-0) will play host to defending Division II champion Northwest Missouri State (10-1) on Saturday. It is the fourth time since 2008 that the two teams have met in the playoffs. Northwest Missouri State defeated the Bulldogs 45-21 in Maryville, Mo., in the second round last year en route to the championship. Since the start of the 2008 season, the teams have each won two national titles, have the top two winning percentages (UMD .903 and the Bearcats .885) and the longest current postseason streaks (Bearcats 11 games and UMD seven).
Tommies get an at-large bid: St. Thomas (8-2, 6-2 MIAC), one of eight at-large selections in the 32-team Division III field, travels to Waverly, Iowa, to face Wartburg on Saturday. The Tommies, ranked No. 20 in the d3football.com poll, have scored 175 points in their past three games and scored a school-record 457 points in 10 games. Wartburg (10-0), ranked No. 5, opened its season with victories over Augsburg (40-3) and Bethel (31-14). It will be the first-ever meeting between St. Thomas and Wartburg.
MSU Mankato bye week: For the third consecutive season, MSU Mankato has a first-round bye in the Division II playoffs. The Mavericks (11-0), the No. 2 seed in Super Region 3 despite being ranked No. 1 in the AFCA Division II Top 25, will play host to either Pittsburg State (10-1) or Harding (9-1) on Nov. 29.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Reid Bjorklund, LB, St. John's: The 6-1 junior from South St. Paul is second on the team with 60 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. Bjorklund had 36 tackles in six games last season.
Gavin Grady, LB, Minnesota Duluth: The 6-3 senior from Hopkins leads the Bulldogs with 60 tackles and is third with 7.5 tackles for loss. He's a first-team All-NSIC North Division pick.
BY THE NUMBERS
123 Combined points by Augsburg (62) and Bethel (61) last Saturday to break the MIAC single-game record of 109.
334 Receiving yards for Augsburg's Joey Sonnenfeld against Bethel to break the MIAC single-game record of 285 yards. Sonnenfeld had 15 receptions.
630 Yards of total offense for Augsburg's Ayrton Scott against Bethel to break the MIAC single-game record of 609.