GAME OF THE WEEK
Sioux Falls at St. Cloud State, 6 p.m. Thursday: Sioux Falls (9-2 last season), ranked No. 20 in the d2football.com preseason poll, has reached the Div. II playoffs the past two seasons. The Cougars averaged 472.1 yards per game last season. The Huskies (6-5 last season), who will have three new starters in the offensive line, return seven starters on defense.
WEEK 1 STORY LINES
• In the past four seasons, MSU Mankato has gone 16-0 against teams from the NSIC North Division. The Mavericks (10-2 last season), the preseason favorite in the NSIC South, open the season at Minot State on Thursday.
• Hamline opens the season on Saturday by playing host to Crown College. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Pipers and the UMAC team. The Pipers have gone 4-6 in each of the past two seasons.
• St. Scholastica, which has reached the NCAA Div. III playoffs five consecutive seasons, will open the season at St. John’s on Saturday. The Saints, who lost to the Johnnies 35-7 in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, are 0-3 all-time against teams from the MIAC.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Carter Hanson, LB, St. John’s: The senior from Blue Earth, Minn., was named a preseason first-team All-America by several national publications. Hanson, a two-time All-MIAC selection and Academic All-America last season, was second on the Johnnies last season with 97 tackles (35 solo).
Jameson Parsons, WR, St. Cloud State: The senior from Eagan led the NSIC in receiving yards (1,272) last season while becoming only the fifth player in St. Cloud State history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Parsons was named a first-team preseason All-America by a national publication.
BY THE NUMBERS
6 Division III national championships for Wis.-Whitewater in the past nine seasons. The Warhawks have reached the semifinals in 11 of the past 12 seasons.
22 Consecutive winning seasons for Sioux Falls, which is 35-11 in four seasons since moving up to Div. II.
64 Career victories (second-most in school history) for St. Cloud State coach Scott Underwood.