Small College Football: Games to Watch - Week 11

Small College Football: Games to Watch - Week 11 Photo: KSTP

November 08, 2017 09:14 PM

A look at this week's top small-college football games in the region:

Concordia-Moorhead (6-1 MIAC, 8-1 overall) at St. John's (6-1 MIAC, 8-1 overall), 1 p.m. Saturday


The Division III postseason doesn't get underway until next weekend. But this game is essentially a de facto playoff game for both the Cobbers and Johnnies. St. Thomas has already wrapped up the MIAC's automatic postseason bid, having beaten both St. John's and Concordia this season. But the winner between the Cobbers and Johnnies seems a very good bet to earn an at-large bid to the postseason field when pairings are announced Sunday.

St. John's, ranked No. 6 in the most recent national poll, was ranked No. 5 in this week's West Region rankings. Concordia, ranked No. 19 nationally, was ranked No. 8 in the region. Cobbers senior Chad Johnson leads the MIAC in rushing yards (1,233) and rushing touchdowns (17). Johnnies senior defensive lineman Trevor Dittberner is tied for second in the conference in sacks with six.

MSU-Mankato (6-0 NSIC South, 10-0 overall) at Sioux Falls (5-1 NSIC South, 9-1 overall), noon Saturday

The Mavericks, the top-ranked team in the nation in this week's AFCA Division II poll, are also No. 1 in this week's Super Region Four rankings. MSU-Mankato rolled past Wayne State 48-27 last week, piling up 580 yards of total offense.

But Sioux Falls is tied for second in the NSIC South Division standings and is ranked No. 5 in this week's region rankings. The Cougars, who beat Upper Iowa 19-7 on the road last week, are ranked No. 13 in the nation.

St. Thomas (7-0 MIAC, 8-1 overall) at St. Olaf (3-4 MIAC, 4-5 overall), 1:10 p.m. Saturday

The Tommies, ranked No. 4 in the most recent national poll, have already locked up the MIAC's automatic postseason bid and can lock up the conference title outright with a win Saturday.

That seems a good bet. But first-year St. Olaf head coach James Kilian has already guided the Oles to their best record since a 7-3 finish in 2012. And he knows the Tommies, having served on head coach Glenn Caruso's staff the past three seasons - the last two as offensive coordinator. Some of his assistants also have experience at St. Thomas, which was ranked No. 3 in this week's West Region rankings.

St. Thomas boasts the top offense (473.9 yards per game) and defense (155.6 yards allowed) in the conference.


Frank Rajkowski

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