The Mavs ready to do battle this weekend against the St. Cloud Huskies on Homecoming.
As Homecoming week hits Mankato this weekend, the Mavericks football team is preparing to go up against rival St. Cloud State this Saturday in a battle for the coveted “Traveling Training Kit”.
The Mavericks won their previous contest back in 2016 against St. Cloud State, defeating the Huskies 45-12. However, despite recent success against this team, the Mavericks have historically struggled against them.
St. Cloud has won six of the last 10 matchups between the two schools, including handing the Mavericks a playoff loss in 2013, a year where they had been 11-0 before facing the Huskies.
St. Cloud is also the last loss the Mavericks received in a Homecoming game, handing MSU a 31-17 defeat back in 2010.
This season’s matchup is built to be a chess match between two tough teams. Minnesota State is the new #1 team in the AFCA Coaches Poll due to Texas A&M Commerce losing over the past weekend. The Mavericks will have to make sure that the same fate doesn’t hit them, as St. Cloud State enters the game with a top-20 scoring defense and a 3-1 record.
Minnesota State will look to give the Huskies defense more than they can handle this weekend, as they feature one of the best running backs in the country in junior Nate Gunn. Gunn is currently averaging 107.5 rushing yards per game and has 9 rushing touchdowns, good enough for second in the nation.
He will be going up against a defense that has allowed only 67 rushing yards per game this season.
Minnesota State’s defense will look to have a fight this week as well, particularly on the defensive line. St. Cloud State has one of the division’s best offensive lines, while MSU has one of the country’s better defensive fronts. MSU will look to find ways to pressure St. Cloud’s junior quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn, who has thrown for 719 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Both teams are coming off close road wins last week as well. St. Cloud State defeated Northern State 19-14, scoring the game-winning touchdown in the last five minutes of the game.
The Mavericks needed an aggressive second-half comeback to beat Winona State 31-21. After going into halftime down 21-7, the Mavs shut out Winona’s offense in the second half while piling on 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Saturday’s game will be at Blakeslee Stadium and will start at 2:00 p.m. You can also stream the game online at msumavericks.com, or listen to the radio broadcast on 1230 THE FAN.
Feature Photo: Quarterback JD Ekowa (pictured) and the Mavs roll into Saturday with one mission, and that’s to defeat the Huskies in front of their home crowd on Saturday. (Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter)