Gustavus welcomes Concordia College to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field for today’s early season MIAC match-up. The Gusties enter the game with an overall record of 0-3 and a MIAC mark of 0-1 after falling 44-26 to St. Olaf in their conference opener last weekend in Northfield. Concordia comes into today’s game at 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC after suffering a 48-30 loss to St. Thomas last Saturday in Moorhead.
Gustavus is celebrating its 87th Homecoming today, continuing a tradition started in 1924 when the Gusties defeated Saint John’s 33-0. Gustavus has enjoyed a good deal of success on Homecoming Day, compiling an all-time record of 59-24-2. Last season, a Homecoming crowd of nearly 3,500 fans witnessed the Gusties suffer a narrow 19-14 loss to St. Olaf following a late game-winning Ole drive. The Gusties will look to pick up their first win as they entertain a packed stadium and buzzing campus on what is the kickoff to Gustavus Adolphus College’s sesquicentennial celebration.
Today’s game marks the 80th time the Gustavus and Concordia football teams have met on the gridiron. The Gusties lead the all-time series with a record of 44-33-2. Gustavus has won its last two meetings with Concordia. Last year in Moorhead, Logan Becker turned in his best passing performance of the season in a 38-14 victory at Jake Christiansen Stadium. Becker was 21-for-29 for a season-high 256 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while adding another TD on the ground.
Meet The Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Peter Haugen is in his third season at the helm of the Gustavus football team. Haugen has compiled a record of 8-15 in his two-plus seasons as the head coach of the Gusties. A graduate of Bethel University, Haugen was the head coach at Washburn High School prior to coming to Gustavus. Concordia Head Coach Terry Horan is in his 11th season at the head of the Cobber football program. In his first 10 seasons, Horan compiled a 52-29 confer- ence record and a 67-57 overall mark. A 1989 graduate of Concordia, Horan served a short stint as a wide re- ceivers coach at Concordia and then was head coach at Breckenridge High School before taking the head job at his alma mater in 2000.
Watch and Listen
About The Game
A Glimpse At The Gusties
The Gustavus football team looks for a fresh start on Homecoming Day at Hollingsworth Field after dropping its first MIAC test to St. Olaf 44-26 last weekend in Northfield, Minn. The Gusties trailed 25-20 late in the third quarter before back-to-back St. Olaf scoring drives gave the Oles a 37-20 advantage in the fourth quarter. The Gustavus offense couldn’t get into a rhythm following a 70-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dan Dobson, as the Oles held on for the 18-point win.
Logan Becker, who was 17-for-29 for 165 yards with one touchdown and an interception against St. Olaf, is throwing for an average of 128.3 yards per game. His favorite target against the Oles was Muresuk Mena who brought in nine catches for a career-high 115 yards. Mena now leads the team with 124 yards on 13 grabs, while senior Elliott Herdina is second with eight catches for 110 yards. The Gusties are averaging 128.3 yards per game on the ground. Jeffrey Dubose looks to build on his two-TD day in Northfield, entering today’s game averaging 4.8 yards per carry and 59.3 yards per game. Time of possession and third down conversions are two areas the Gusties would like to see improvement in today. Coach Haugen’s squad enters the game converting 31.4 percent of it’s third downs (8th/MIAC), while averaging 26:07 of ball possession (9th/MIAC).
Gustavus’ defense will need to find a way to slow down a potent Cobber ground attack. Entering Saturday, the Gusties are allowing an average of 197.3 yards per game rushing. Gustavus’ aerial defense ranks fourth in the MIAC, allowing 176.0 yards per game. Leading the secondary is Brad Kruckeberg, who recorded his first interception of the season last weekend, while corners Dan Opitz and Jason Cook have combined for six pass break-ups. Alec Saunders leads the defense with 32 tackles (12 solo, 20 asst.), as the pass rush is still looking for its first sack for this season.
A Glimpse At The Cobbers
The Concordia College football team enters today’s game also seeking its first MIAC victory of the season after dropping two home tests to Saint John’s 28-21 in overtime on Sept. 17 and St. Thomas 48-30 last weekend. Following an opening-drive touchdown by the Cobbers on Saturday against St. Thomas, the Tommies scored four consecutive touchdowns and led 28-7 at the half. St. Thomas led by as many as 34 points (48-14) in the fourth quarter before the Cobbers added two late touchdowns to make the final score 48-30.
The Tommies were successful in taking away Concordia’s running game in the contest, allowing just 52 yards on 26 carries for an average of 2.0 yards per rush. Faced with an early deficit, Cobber quarterback Michael Dunham was asked to go to the air more often than usual, completing 26-of-41 passes for 329 yards with two TD’s and two interceptions. Despite the fact that Concordia boasts one of the best ground attacks in the league, averaging 213.8 yards per game (2nd/MIAC), Dunham is still one of the MIAC’s top passers. He is 63-for-110 (57.3%) for 798 yards (199.5 ypg) with a 4-to-4 touchdown to interception ratio. His go-to receiver has been Bronson Shepherd who has a league-high 22 catches for 247 yards (61.8 ypg).
Using a hybrid flexbone/spread offense, Concordia employs a 60/40 run-to-pass attack that uses theground game to set up a mid-distance passing game. Trent Johnson and Brett Baune front Concordia’s dual-headed running game. Johnson has two TD’s and averages 84.2 yards per game, while Baune has seven TD’s while averaging 75.2 yards per game.
Defensively, Concordia is allowing an average of 116.5 yards on the ground and 224.5 yards through the air. The 3-4 Cobber defense is led by its middle linebackers Matt Moenkedick and Peter Hvidston. Moenkedick leads the MIAC with 37 tackles, while Hvidston has made total of 34 (3rd/MIAC). The Gusties will need to find a way to slow down the league’s best pass rush in the combination of nose guard Mark Wychor and defensive end Robin Wisner who have combined for seven sacks thus far.