GAME OF THE WEEK

St. Thomas at St. Olaf, 1:10 p.m. Saturday: St. Thomas (5-2, 4-1 MIAC), ranked No. 19 in Division III, has defeated St. Olaf 10 consecutive times. St. Olaf (5-2, 3-2) started the season 5-0 before losing to Bethel and St. John’s in the past two weeks.

WEEK 9 STORY LINES

• The first NCAA Division II regional rankings were released this week. Minnesota State Mankato, which is ranked No. 3 in the D-II poll, was ranked No. 2 in Super Region Four behind Tarleton State. Three other NSIC teams were ranked in the regional poll — Augustana at No. 7, Sioux Falls at No. 8 and Winona State at No. 9. The top seven teams in the region advance to the D-II playoffs.

• The NSIC returns to divisional play this week. Minnesota Duluth, which has won or shared every North Division title since the NSIC split to divisions in 2008, has won 27 consecutive games against North teams. The Bulldogs (5-3, 4-0 NSIC North) won only one of four games against South teams in October.

• The MCAC semifinals will be held Sunday with Central Lakes playing at Minnesota West and Itasca playing at NDSCS.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michael Veldman, QB, Gustavus Adolphus: The senior from Becker, Minn., ranks No. 5 in passing efficiency in Division III with a rating of 187.90 and is tied for fourth in touchdown passes with 26. Veldman has thrown for 2,273 yards in seven games this season.

 

Shane Zylstra, WR, Minnesota State Mankato: The senior from Spicer, Minn., had 128 receiving yards last week to become the Mavericks’ all-time leader in receiving yards (3,536). He is the brother of former Vikings receiver Brandon Zylstra, now with the Panthers.

BY THE NUMBERS

0 Sacks vs. Bethel in seven games this season — the Royals are the only team in Division I, II or III that hasn’t given up a sack.

37 Career field goals (a school record) by St. Cloud State junior kicker Adam Stage.

749 Offensive yards, the second-most in school history, by St. John’s in its 54-17 victory over St. Olaf last week.

JOEL Rippel