Coming into this weekend the Minnesota State football team has now locked themselves into the No. 19 spot in division two football. After a big loss against Duluth this past week, the Mavericks not only find themselves far outside of the top three, but also barely cracking into the top 20.
The Mavericks, however, get a historically good matchup this weekend against Bemidji State at Blakeslee Stadium to try and help them get back on track. The Mavs are 5-1 in the past six meetings against the Beavers, and they will look to make that record 6-1 this weekend.
Heading into this game, the Mavericks have found some key pieces in their offensive attack early. Sophomore Kaleb Sleezer has carved out the starting running back role for himself after supporting a 6.6 yards per carry average in the team’s first two games.
Junior Jalen Sample has done the same for himself inside the wide receiver room, while averaging 82 yards per game through the air. Both players have been outstanding for the Mavs offense this season and they will look to build upon their impressive statlines.
As far as defense goes, Minnesota State has some great players making their way into some very impressive stat lines throughout the first two games. Senior linebacker Eli Thomas currently leads the team in total tackles with 12, including one tackle for loss.
On the outside of the ball lurks senior cornerback Ty’shonan Brooks. Brooks is tied for second on the team with eight tackles while also including one tackle for loss and a sack.
On the opposite end of the ball stare the Bemidji State Beavers. The Beavers are 2-0 this season defeating Sioux Falls 24-16 and Wayne State 38-28.
Bemidji uses a two headed running back approach, using Sage Booker and Makaio Harn almost equally in the backfield. Behind center stands sophomore quarterback Brandon Alt.
Alt has been impressive in his first two games this season, throwing for a 8-1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Alt was the NSIC player of the week last week, so the Mavericks will definitely need to keep a special eye on Bemidji’s air attack this Saturday.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Mavs have a lot to watch out for against this Bemidji team. Both of the Beaver’s starting linebackers of Gabe Ames and Cole Sorby have 12 tackles on the season, and redshirt freshman Ty Guden comes off the bench leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss.
This should be a very exciting matchup between the two teams. Bemidji will look to stay undefeated at 3-0 while the Mavs are hoping to not slip under .500 for the first time since losing the season opener in 2011.