Gustavus welcomes Saint John’s University to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field on Saturday for an early-season Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match-up. The Gusties enter the game with a record of 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC after defeating Hamline 30-24 in two overtimes last Saturday, while the Johnnies enter with a record of 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC after beating Concordia 31-19 a week ago.
Gustavus will be looking to derail a Saint John’s squad that is ranked #6 in the most recent D3football.com poll. The Johnnies turned two Cobber fumbes into touchdowns and claimed a hard-fought 31-19 win over Concordia in Moorhead last Saturday, while the Gusties jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and then had to battle through two overtimes before edging Hamline. Saint John’s has been impressive offensively scoring 31.3 points per game and averaging 407.3 yards of total offense per game, while the Gusties have been consistent, but not quite as explosive scoring 27.0 points per game and averaging 378.5 yards of total offense per game.
Watch and Listen
You can listen to the Gustavus broadcast on KNUJ Radio (860 AM) out of New Ulm, Minnesota. You can also listen and watch the game through the Gustavus website. You can listen to the Saint John’s broadcast on three separate stations including WBHR-660 AM out of St. Cloud, KOWZ-1170 AM out of Waseca, and WLOL-1330 AM out of the Twin Cities.
Gustavus and Saint John’s will be facing each other for the 75th time today. The Gusties have compiled a mark of 31-41-2 in the all-time series. The Johnnies have definitely had the upper hand in the series lately winning 11 straight. The Gusties last win was in 1997 when they beat the Johnnies 24-16 in Collegeville. Last year, Saint John’s claimed a 31-17 win at Clemens Stadium.
The Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Peter Haugen is in his first season at the helm of the Gusties with a career record of 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC. Haugen registered his first win at the collegiate level last Saturday in dramatic fashion. Saint John’s Head Coach John Gagliardi is in his 57th year directing the Johnnie football program. The winningest coach in college football history, Gagliardi has compiled a career record of 464-125-11.
About Today’s Game
Scouting the Gusties
The Gustavus football team is giving first year head coach Peter Haugen quite an introduction to college football with two dramatic finishes in his first two games. Two weeks ago, the Gusties suffered a heartbreaking loss to Coe College in the final seconds, however last week, Haugen’s squad turned the tables and scored on its first offensive play of the second overtime to claim a thrilling 30-24 win over Hamline in St. Paul. Freshman running back Kendrick Hall provided the winning score as he broke through the line and sprinted 25-yards for a touchdown giving the Gusties the win after Hamline had missed a field goal on its offensive possession in the second overtime. Hall continued to impress the Gustie faithful with the speed at which he hits the holes at the line of scrimmage. He finished the day with 22 carries for 120 yards and one touchdown. Special teams manufactured a score for the second straight week as Lucas Armstrong blocked a punt in the second quarter and Mike Mohs fell on it in the end zone for a touchdown giving the Gusties a 14-0 lead.
Through two games, the Gustie offensive unit is averaging 130.5 yards rushing and 248.0 yards passing for a total of 378.5 yards of total offense per game, while the defense has allowed 79.5 yards rushing and 290.0 yards passing for a total of 369.5 yards of total offense per game. The Gustavus offense will need to sustain long drives and eat up big chunks of clock today, while eliminating turnovers in order to limit the number of opportunities given to the potent Johnnie offense.
Gustie Game Notes
Kickin’ It Up – Senior punter Matt Knutson is off to a very good start as he has punted 14 times for 542 yards and an average of 38.7 per punt through two games. Knutson currently ranks 12th in Division III in punts per game at 7.0 and 45th in average at 38.7. He leads the MIAC in punts inside the 20 with four and his season long punt is 48 yards. At his current pace, Knutson would break the school record for punts in a season which is 68 set by Geoff Hansen in 1994.
Defense Tough In First Quarter – The Gustavus defense has been very stingy in the first quarter of its first two games as it has not allowed a point in the first 15 minutes of either game. The Gusties have also been tough in the fourth quarter allowing only 10 points, however the middle quarters have been a bit of a problem as opponents have scored 34 of their 51 points in the second and third quarters.
Hall Hits The Century Mark – Running back Kendrick Hall rushed for over 100 yards for the first time in his career last Saturday when he ran for 120 yards on 22 carries with one touchdown against Hamline. In his first two games at Gustavus, the freshman running back from Minneapolis Roosevelt has carried 39 times for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He is averaging an impressive 5.2 yards per carry and 101.5 yards per game. Hall’s 120 yard performance is the fourth highest single-game rushing total by a freshman running back in the program’s history. The most yards rushing by a freshman is 145 yards compiled by the program’s all-time leading rusher Tom Dahlberg against Youngstown State in 1969. The second highest total is 135 by Mike Schumacher against Concordia in 1987, and the third highest total is 133 yards by Travis Prunty in 1996 against Macalester.
Becker Throwing Up Some Big Numbers – Senior quarterback Jordan Becker is beginning to move his way up the Gustavus all-time passing charts in just 12 starts for the Gusties. Through two games this season, Becker has completed 34-of-59 passes for 496 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions. He is completing 57.6 percent of his passes and is averaging 248.0 yards per game in the air. After last week’s game against the Piper’s, Becker moved into tenth place in career completions with 195 and in career touchdown passes with 19. He also ranks 11th in career passing yards with 2,363 and seventh in career completion percentage at 55.1 percent.
Maurer Proving To Be A Big Target – Senior tight end Cameron Maurer is proving to be a big target for quarterback Jordan Becker this season as Becker has hauled in 12 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown in two games after making 13 catches for 110 yards in nine games last season. Maurer made four catches for 68 yards last week including a 39-yard grab for a touchdown on the Gusties first possession of the game.
Gusties And Johnnies In Week Three – This will be the 10th time in the Gustavus/Saint John’s rivalry that the teams have met in the third week of the season. Gustavus has posted a mark of 3-5-1 in the previous nine meetings the last of which was last year when the Johnnies won 31-17 in Collegeville. The Gusties have compiled a record 3-2 at home in the third week. Surprisingly, the last time Gustavus and Saint John’s played in St. Peter in the third week of the season was in 1968 when the Gusties, under the direction of Jocko Nelson, claimed a 31-0 win over the Johnnies.
Scouting the Johnnies
Saint John’s rolls into St. Peter with an undefeated record (3-0) and a lofty #6 ranking in the D3football.com poll after knocking off Concordia 31-19 in Moorhead last Saturday. Statistically, the game looked very close, however on the scoreboard, the Johnnies jumped out to a 31-12 lead through three quarters and held on for the convincing victory. Junior quarterback Joe Boyle sparked the offense as he rushed for 72 yards and one touchdown and passed for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, senior tackle Kyle Schroeder had a big day with four tackles for loss including 2.5 quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries. The Johnnies put intense pressure on Cobber quarterback Andrew Larson all day sacking him six times for —49 yards.
Through three games, the Saint John’s offensive unit is averaging 195.3 yards rushing and 212.0 yards passing for a total of 407.3 yards of total offense per game, while the defense has allowed 143.3 yards rushing and 247.7 yards passing for a total of 382.0 yards of total offense per game. The Saint John’s defense will look to control the line of scrimmage and put pressure on a young Gustavus offensive line that has allowed eight sacks in its first two games.
Gustavus Adolphus College
7 Jordan Becker