Football Game Day Preview

Posted on October 9th, 2003 by

The Gustavus football team will aim to even its 2003 record when it hosts the University of St. Thomas at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field on Saturday, October 11 at 1:00 pm. Both squads enter the game 2-3 on the season.

Gustavus will attempt to rebound from last week’s 35-13 loss at second-ranked St. John’s. St. Thomas meanwhile hopes to carry over momentum from its 27-9 come-from-behind homecoming win over St. Olaf. The two squads have played numerous close games over the last decade with each team claiming a one-point win in the last two decisions. Five of the last six football meetings between Gustavus and St. Thomas have been decided by three or less points.

A Glimpse of the Gusties
Gustavus fell behind 14-0 last week and was unable to pull even with St. John’s the rest of the way last week. St. John’s led the entire game, as the Johnnies returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Gustavus tallied its points through the air. Trailing 14-0 midway through the second quarter, Sean Smith hooked up with Drew Stifter for a 60-yard touchdown pass. The Gusties would get no closer than a touchdown the rest of the way, as St. John’s added two touchdowns before halftime. Early in the fourth quarter Smith found Teigland in the back of the endzone for a three-yard touchdown toss to bring Gustavus within 28-13. The Johnnies would answer with a nine-play scoring drive to seal the victory. St. John’s out-gained Gustavus 397 to 352 yards. The big discrepancy was on the ground, where the Johnnies pounded out 157 yards compared to the Gusties who only amassed 32 yards rushing the football. Smith finished the afternoon 17 of 27 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Teigland caught four balls for 24 yards. Stifter had 38 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving, both team highs. Tyler Rinquist led the defense with 14 tackles including one sack.

Through four league games, the Gusties rank eighth in total offense averaging 276.5 yards per game, sixth in total defense allowing 311.8 yards per game, seventh in scoring offense with an average of 16.8 points per game, and sixth in scoring defense allowing 20.0 points per game. Individually, defensive lineman Dan Myers leads the conference with five sacks and six and a half tackles for loss. Defensive backs Loren Havemeier and Matt Diercks lead the conference with six pass breakups. Punter Greg Baldus is second in the MIAC in punting with an average of 37.4 yards per boot. Smith ranks third in the conference in passing yards per game with 174.2. Stifter ranks fourth in the conference with 84.8 rushing yards per game.

A View of the Tommies
St. Thomas came back from a three-point halftime deficit to notch a 27-9 homecoming victory over St. Olaf on Saturday. Sophomore running back Walter Dosh scored second-half touchdowns of 24, 67 and 38 yards to rally the Tommies past the Oles. St. Olaf out-gained the Tommies on the day in total offense, 389 to 327 yards, but were hurt by three second-half turnovers. Tommies Andrew Ubbelohde, Danny Reisenauer and Steve Groth each had second-half interceptions to help St. Thomas win at home for the 10th time in its last 12 games. St. Olaf led just 3-0 at halftime despite out-gaining the Tommies 175 yards to 58 yards in the opening two quarters and holding St. Thomas to one first down. The Oles failed to reach the end zone despite four drives inside the Tommie 25-yard-line.

St. Thomas entered the 2003 season in a similar position as Gustavus. The Tommies lost many of their offensive and defensive leaders from last season’s 5-5 team and have relied upon several new contributors since losing 30 letterwinners to graduation. Dosh, a transfer from South Dakota State, has been a nice addition to the team. He has gained 181 yards on just 30 carries this year for an average of 6.0 yards per rush. Justin Kostner has the team’s most rushing yards. He has amassed 345 yards on 96 attempts. The Tommies have tried three different players under center this year in an attempt to replace three-year starter Nick Ambrasas. Last week Justin Lockrem got the start at quarterback and went 8-of-24 through the air for 141 yards. Defensively, Ubbelohde leads the team with 51 tackles despite missing the team’s fourth game of the year.

Through three MIAC games, the Tommies rank fifth in total offense with 348.0 yards per game, third in total defense while allowing 279.3 yards per game, fourth in scoring offense with 29.0 points per game, and fourth in scoring defense while giving up 16.3 points per game.

The Series: This will be the 72nd meeting between Gustavus and St. Thomas with the Tommies holding a slim 35-34-2 advantage.

Coaches: Gustavus Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck (’80) is in his tenth season at the helm of the Gusties with a career record of 50-45, 45-39 in the MIAC. St. Thomas Head Coach Don Roney is in his sixth season coaching his alma mater. Through that time he has accumulated an overall record of 34-21.

Home Cooking: Starting Saturday, Gustavus will play four of its final five games at home. The Gusties are 18-7 over the past six seasons in St. Peter. Gustavus is 57-34-1 all-time at home versus the four teams remaining on its home schedule (St. Thomas, Hamline, Azusa Pacific, St. Olaf).

Smith Continues to Climb Record Book: Sean Smith is currently ranked sixth all-time in school history with 285 pass completions. He needs two more completions to pass Eric Lande on the all-time list and 29 completions to move past Brad Baker. Lande played for the black and gold from 1982 to 1984 while Baker played from 1976 to 1979. Smith ranks seventh all-time at Gustavus with 3,180 passing yards. He needs 35 yards to move into sixth place past Mark Pfundstein who was the Gustie signal caller from 1972 to 1975.

Rushing Woes: Gustavus has picked up 521 rushing yards this season on 190 carries for an average of 2.7 yards per carry. That is the lowest yards per carry average that the Gusties have had in a season since 1985 when the squad gained 1073 yards on 408 carries for an average of 2.6 yards per rush.

Exact Opposites: Gustavus is outscoring its opponents 44 to 14 in the first quarter this season. The Gusties failed to score first last week for the first time all season. Gustavus has been outscored 62 to 27 in the second half. St. Thomas has been outscored 91-27 in first halves this season. The Tommies have outscored their opponents 82-30 in second halves this year.

Statistical Comparison:

GAC Category UST
20.2 Points Per Game 21.8
87 First Downs 73
96 Opp. First Downs 87
104.2 Rushing Yards Per Game 130.0
144.6 Opp. Rushing Yards Per Game 218.8
2.7 Rushing Average Per Carry 3.5
3.7 Opp. Rushing Average Per Carry 4.4
4 Rushing Touchdowns 11
6 Opp. Rushing Touchdowns 7
187.2 Passing Yards Per Game 188.0
185.6 Opp. Passing Yards Per Game 127.4
9.5 Yards Per Catch 13.6
10.3 Opp. Yards Per Catch 13.0
63.5 Completion Percentage 51.1
54.2 Opp. Completion Percentage 46.7
7 Passing Touchdowns 4
8 Opp. Passing Touchdowns 7
7 Interceptions Thrown 8
5 Opp. Interceptions Thrown 5
291.4 Total Offense Per Game 318.0
330.2 Opp. Total Offense Per Game 346.2
4.2 Total Offense Per Play 5.0
4.6 Opp. Total Offense Per Play 4.9
9/3 Fumbles/Lost 7/6
6/4 Opp. Fumbles/Lost 3/1
24/220 Penalties/Yards 20/124
29/275 Opp. Penalties/Yards 25/179
31:18 Time of Possession Per Game 29:08
28:42 Opp. Time of Possession Per Game 30:52

Comments are closed.