No. 1 MSU Mankato to risk streak against Winona State

GAME OF THE WEEK

MSU Mankato (3-0) at Winona State (2-1), 1 p.m., Saturday: MSU Mankato, ranked No. 1 in the d2football.com poll, has won 16 consecutive NSIC games. Winona State, which was ranked No. 10 last week, dropped to No. 25 in this week’s poll after being upset 34-33 at Upper Iowa. MSU Mankato defeated Winona 27-6 last season to end a two-game losing streak to the Warriors.

WEEK 4 STORY LINES

• After winning just six of 40 games between 2013 and 2016, St. Olaf went 4-6 last season in its first season under James Kilian. The Oles have started this season 3-0 — their best season start since 2008.

• Bethel has opened with two victories after starting each of the past two seasons 0-3. In both 2016 and 2017, the Royals recovered to finish 5-5. They haven’t had a losing season in 24 years.

• Two MIAC teams (St. Thomas and St. John’s) and three WIAC teams (Whitewater, Oshkosh and La Crosse) are ranked in the d3football.com Top 25. A fourth WIAC team (Platteville) dropped out of the Top 25 this week after losing to Thomas More.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ricardo Johnson III, QB, St. Olaf: A senior from St. Paul and the MIAC offensive player of the week the past two weeks, Johnson has rushed and passed for 1,030 yards and 14 TDs.

 

John Larson, QB, Minnesota Duluth: The sophomore from Braham, Minn., is tied for the Division II lead in points responsible for. He has accounted for 769 yards and 10 TDs.

BY THE NUMBERS

3 Times (in three games) that Bemidji State has had two players rush for at least 100 yards.

11 Consecutive losses, dating to last season, for Southwest Minnesota State (0-3).

29 Completions (a school record) by St. Scholastica quarterback Zach Johnson in the Saints’ 48-20 victory over Crown.

JOEL RIPPEL