The Gustavus football team welcomes the Auggies of Augsburg College to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field for today’s 2012 home opener. Gustavus and Augsburg, both with 1-0 records after winning their respective season opener, will look to kick off the MIAC season on the right foot this afternoon. The Gusties are coming off their first season-opening win since 2008, defeating Simpson College by the score of 35-26last weekend in Indianola, Iowa. The Auggies, who are coming off their bye week, defeated Concordia University (Wis.) 41-20 on Sept. 1 in Minneapolis.
The Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Peter Haugen is in his fourth season at the helm of the Gustavus football program. Haugen has a combined record of 10-20 in his first three seasons. A graduate of Bethel University, Haugen was the head coach at Washburn High School prior to coming to Gustavus. Coach Frank Haege is in his seventh season at the head of the Augsburg football team. Haege, who was an assistant at Augsburg from 1996–98, served several coaching stints in the arena football ranks before taking over the Auggie football team. A 1992 graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Stout, Haege has compiled an overall record of 27–44 in his seven-plus seasons at Augsburg.
Watch and Listen
Scouting The Gusties
The Gustavus football team enters its second game of the season with a 1-0 record for the first time since 2008 today. Gustavus defeated Simpson College in its season opener 35-26 last weekend in Indianola, Iowa, forcing five turnovers, scoring two defensive touchdowns, and racking up 366 yards of total offense.
After Simpson grabbed a 3-0 lead with a field goal on the opening drive of the game, Gustavus responded with what was the first of four big play touchdowns on the afternoon. The first came when senior quarterback Muresuk Mena broke out of the pocket and scrambled 35 yards for a touchdown to put Gustavus up 7-3. After two consecutive touchdown scoring drives in the second quarter that put the Storm up 17-7, Mena answered with a 64- yard touchdown pass on a screen to junior running back Jeffrey Dubose to cut the lead to 17-14 at halftime.
The third quarter was completely owned by the Black and Gold, as the Gusties scored three touchdowns and forced three turnovers to take a 35-17 lead. Junior defensive tackle Donte Green covered up a fumble in the endzone to give Gustavus a 21-17 edge, and junior cornerback Torey Asao picked off a pass and took it back 55 yards for Gustavus’ second defensive touchdown, extending the lead to 28-17. Following a forced and recovered fumble by sophomore defensive end Andrew Lonneman, the Gusties capped off the quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Mena to junior tight end Jordan Rudenick to bring the score to 35-17. Simpson would score 10 points in the final three minutes of the game, but could never get back into rhythm after the third frame.
In his first collegiate start at quarterback, Muresuk Mena was suberb both through the air and on the ground. Mena went 8-for-14 for 155 yards with two touchdowns passing, while running 13 times for 73 yards and one touchdown. Jeffrey Dubose also benefited from the stellar play of Gustavus’ veteran offensive line, gaining 119 yards on 26 carries.
Where the offense capitalized when given the opportunity, it was the play of the defense and special teams that made the difference. Jordan Rudenick punted six times for 290 yards (48.3 avg/p), while downing five punts inside the 20-yard line. Sophomore safety Jake Forcier led the team with seven tackles, and Andrew Lonneman recorded three sacks and five tackles. Gustavus is currently ranked fifth in the country in turnover margin at +5 following last weekend’s victory.
Scouting The Auggies
The Augsburg football team enjoyed a week two bye after running away with a 41-20 victory over Concordia University of Mequon, Wis., in its home opener on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis. Freshman quarterback Ayrton Scott led a potent Augsburg offense with a total of 294 yards in the game. He ran 22 times for 155 yards, while completing 9-of-18 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns.
The Auggies took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter following a Phil Putratz 15-yard touchdown run and a Tyler Swanson 29-yard touchdown reception from Scott. After Concordia scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 14-7 late in the second quarter, Augsburg answered with 21 unanswered points (35-7) and a 28-to-7 run that extended the lead to 35-14 early in the fourth quarter. Within the scoring run, Scott threw touchdown passes to Wesley Waytashek and Tyler Swanson, while outside linebacker Felix Coleman picked off a pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown.
Running back Phil Putratz also went over 100 yards rushing, gaining 113 yards on 15 carries (7.5 ypc). Although he connected with a total of five receivers throughout the afternoon, Tyler Swanson was Scott’s top target, bringing in three catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Scott will go up against a similar quarterback in Muresuk Mena on Saturday. Both are a threat to make plays on the ground and through the air within their respective spread offense.
The Auggie defense allowed 96 yards rushing and 183 yards passing for a total of 279 yards on the day. Middle linebacker Bryce Vee led the defense with nine tackles, while outside linebacker Enrico Barrozo contributed eight. Along with Felix Coleman, Hakeem Bourne-McFarlane also had an interception.
With an elusive quarterback in the backfield, the Auggies’ new found run element will challenge the discipline of Gustavus’ linebackers and secondary. Augsburg will look to stay perfect in the red-zone, and much like Gustavus, win the turnover battle for the second-straight week.