Coming into this week, the Mavericks were ranked No. 3 in Division II college football after squeaking out an overtime win against Northern State the week prior. Heading to Duluth, who the Mavs had beaten in five straight games, suddenly had not become an easy task after a very shaky, question mark filled week.
The Bulldogs were ranked No. 20 coming into the game, having defeated Upper Iowa in week one. Minnesota Duluth seemed to have none to minimal weaknesses coming into the game against Minnesota State, and that looked to be true against the Mavs on Saturday.
The Mavericks dropped their game this past Saturday 30-10 against the Bulldogs in yet another uninspiring game from the team as a whole. The Mavs defense seemed to hold on quite well despite letting up 30 points against this Bulldog offense.
MSU held Duluth quarterback John Larson to only one passing touchdown after Larson threw for five against Upper Iowa the week before.
The Maverick defense, however, conceded three rushing touchdowns combined with 158 rushing yards which seemed to be their downfall in this one. On the offensive side of the ball, the Mavs could not get anything going either.
The lone Mavs touchdown came in the second quarter in the form of a 10 yard passing touchdown from JD Ekowa to Tanner Johnson. It seemed to be the only time Minnesota State could get anything put together on the offensive end all game.
Minnesota Duluth had everything going for them in rushing the ball against the Mavs this game. Bulldogs running back Cazz Martin led the way for Duluth in this one in rushing yards with 71, while also tallying one touchdown.
Larson was the player of the game, throwing for 184 yards and a touchdown as well as rushing for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Larson continued to make smart plays for the Bulldogs throughout the game, leading to his three total touchdown game to pair with zero turnovers.
On the defensive side of the ball, Minnesota Duluth was great as well. Redshirt Junior Marcus Glodowski had quite the performance in this game, tallying eight total tackles along with an interception.
Yet another tough week on both sides of the ball brings up a lot of questions, but there is still almost a whole season of football to be played. A rough start does not necessarily mean a rough ending for this Maverick team.
Following the weekend, the Mavericks fell to No. 19 overall in the AFCA Division II poll, while Duluth jumped to No. 13.