The No. 6 Minnesota State Mavericks hit the road to play the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears. The Mavericks roll in at 4-0 on the year while the Golden Bears sit at 1-3. The Mavs should be able to clean up swiftly against the team, holding a 9-2 record against the Golden Bears, with a six-game winning streak on the line this weekend.
“We have a solid group of juniors and seniors that are doing a phenomenal job of helping and leading these younger players,” said Maverick head coach Todd Hoffner of the team’s development. “I feel like we’re a really tight-knit family right now; I think we really play for each other and really care about each other and it’s starting to show.”
The Mavericks continued to grow as a team last weekend and are hot off their shutout game against the Northern State Wolves 36-0 in dominating fashion. CSP, on the other hand, fell to the MSU-Moorhead squad 21-20, despite out-gaining Moorhead in total yards 453-390. The highlight performance from CSP in the loss was running back Darnell Rolle, who had 163 rushing yards and a score.
Headed into the matchup, the Mavericks average 497.5 yards per game and only let up 299 to the opposition. The Mavs also average 41.2 points per game. In contrast, CSP averages 355.2 yards per game, giving up 417.2 yard to opponents.
Keys For The Mavericks
The Mavericks ground game should be able to pound CSP, a team that gives up 212.2 yards per game against the run. Sophomore running back Nate Gunn already has 619 yards and six touchdowns, emerging as the workhorse back for the Mavericks that they can consistently stick it to defenses through four quarters. When your running back has over 100 yards in every game of the season, you hand him the ball.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Schlichte threw for 120 yards and three touchdowns last weekend for his best game of the season. He also was incredibly efficient, hitting 13 of his 15 attempts against the Wolves. This is not a special defense that the CSP squad is rolling out, so while the Maverick mantra is running the ball, this may also be a good time to push Schlichte. This defense gives up 221 yards per game to the passing attack and while the Mavericks are beating up on teams now, they will need a solid quarterback to make a deep run. This could be a good game to stretch and grow the young quarterback against a soft target.
On the defense, the Mavericks have five turnovers – three of which are fumble recoveries – and have 10 sacks on the year. They have also racked up 34 tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries. The defensive front is going to eat this CSP team up and force a lot of punts this weekend. The Mavericks should have an easy go of it because of how many opportunities the defense will put in their lap. When the offense takes a lead, and forces the CSP offense into more and more passing situations, the MNSU defense can really pin their ears back and get to the quarterback.
Prediction: Mavericks win 45-13