The #24-ranked Minnesota State University, Mankato football team is set to return to action this weekend in Aberdeen, S.D. as they take on Northern State in an Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) matchup at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The Mavericks come into this weekend’s matchup with a 2-0 overall record after thrilling victories over Bemidji and Duluth, while Northern State has accumulated a 1-1 overall record with a win against Upper Iowa and a loss against Wayne State.
Historically, the Mavericks boast a dominant 10-1 all-time record against the Wolves, with their only loss coming in their first meeting in 1979. Since then, Minnesota State has gone undefeated in Aberdeen and expect the same come Saturday.
Last season, the Mavericks were able to extend their win-streak against the Wolves, but it wouldn’t come easy. Sophomore defensive-back James Williams forced the all-important fumble on a kickoff that set up the MSU drive that sent the game into overtime.
Senior wide-receiver, Jalen Sample shined for the Mavericks in that game tallying four catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Jacob Daulton also put up good numbers for the Mavericks with five tackles including 1.5 sacks.
With the injury to sophomore quarterback Hayden Ekern, Minnesota State will rely on sophomore quarterback Mitch Randall to lead the way to another victory. Randall has impressed so far this season as he leads the team in rushing yards with 154 through two games played.
The Waukee, Iowa native has also put up strong numbers in the passing column with 247 yards and one touchdown. On top of his 247 passing yards, Randall also sits sixth overall in the NSIC for total offensive yards gained among all offensive positions.
On the other side of the field, Northern State boasts one of the best defenses in the NSIC this season. The Wolves currently sit first in the conference in terms of points allowed per game and sit second for opponent first downs this season.
Leading Northern State’s defense this year is graduate student defensive lineman Ian Marshall. Marshall has accounted for eight tackles for 40 lossed yards this season which also sits first in the NSIC.
On the other hand, Northern State’s offense has struggled so far this season through two games, averaging only 18 points a game and 36 points in total. Graduate student running-back Isaiah Cherrier has been the most consistent offensive player for the Wolves this season, owning 91 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards.
Minnesota State looks to improve to 3-0 this weekend as they take on Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Header Photo: MSU Football hits the road as they are currently ranked #24 in the NSIC Conference. The Mavericks will face the Northern State Wolves on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Aberdeen, S.D. (Julia Barton/The Reporter)
Write to Karson Buelow at Karson.Buelow@mnsu.edu