BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - After two weeks of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) play, five football teams remain unbeaten in league contests. Concordia, Saint John's, and St. Olaf all have a pair of MIAC victories, while Bethel and St. Thomas each have one. Four conference games are on the slate for Saturday afternoon.
Five MIAC teams are receiving national poll attention this week. D3football.com ranked Saint John's No. 4, Bethel No. 7, and St. Thomas No. 14, with Gustavus receiving a pair of votes. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll lists the Johnnies at No. 4, Royals at No. 11, and Tommies at No. 17, with Concordia picking up two votes as well. Since last September, six of the nine MIAC football teams have been ranked or received votes in Division III national polls.
Voting for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain began this week. Two MIAC seniors - Bethel's Danny Munoz and Saint John's Ben Bartch - are in the running. Fans can vote for one captain each day on ESPN.com until November 22, 2019.
Saint John's has the No. 1 rushing defense in all of college football, allowing just 14.7 rushing yards per game in 2019.
St. Thomas ranks second in NCAA Division III in scoring offense (54.0), third in rushing offense (320.0), and fourth in total offense (564.0). The Tommies are also tied for third in D-III in red zone defense with a percentage of 0.250 on the year.
Augsburg defensive lineman Shaquille Young has forced three fumbles in his debut season, tied for the most in Division III this year.
Bethel quarterback Jaran Roste is completing 70.8 percent of his passes in 2019, eighth-best in Division III. Roste's top target, wide receiver Drew Larsen, has caught seven touchdown passes this season, tied for the third-highest total in D-III.
Concordia linebacker Willie Julkes III has blocked three kicks in 2019, tied for the most in all divisions of college football this season.
Gustavus quarterback Michael Veldman has thrown for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019, good for the fifth-best yardage total and tied for the eighth-best touchdown total in D-III. Veldman's favorite target, wide receiver Brice Panning, has eight touchdowns this season, tied for the second-most in Division III through four games.
St. Olaf running back Khayleb Willis ranks third in Division III with 565 rushing yards in four games this season. Willis and St. Thomas lead back Josh Parks are tied for sixth in D-III with six rushing touchdowns on the season. Parks is averaging 7.77 yards per carry this season, ninth-best in D-III.
AROUND THE MIAC
Augsburg quarterback Quinn Frisell returned to the starting lineup last Saturday after missing a game-and-a-half due to injury. The senior threw a trio of touchdown passes in the Auggies' loss to St. Olaf. Augsburg will hit the road for a matchup with No. 4 Saint John's in Collegeville, Minn. on Saturday.
Bethel quarterback Jaran Roste accounted for four of the five Royal touchdowns in a 35-33 victory over Gustavus last Saturday. Roste completed 76.2 percent of his passes in the game, accounting for two touchdowns through the air and two more on the ground. Roste has rushed for a score in 10 of his last 11 games and all but four contests in his Royal career. Bethel will host Carleton for its Homecoming matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Carleton kicker Trent Ramirez made a 42-yard field goal in his first collegiate attempt against Saint John's last week - the longest in the MIAC this season and the longest by a Knight since Brandt Davis hit a 42-yarder against St. Olaf on October 22, 2016. The Knights will take on Bethel in Arden Hills, Minn. on Saturday.
Concordia quarterback Blake Kragnes led the Cobber offense in a shutout victory over Hamline last week, rushing for two touchdowns, and throwing for a third. The senior ran for a total of 101 yards on 13 carries in the win. Concordia finished the game by rushing for 530 yards on 62 carries. The 530 rushing yards is the most in a single game in 2019 and the second-most in program history. The Cobbers head to St. Paul, Minn. to face nationally-ranked St. Thomas on Saturday.
Gustavus wide receiver Brice Panning hauled in nine passes for 122 yards and a pair of scores in last week's loss to Bethel. The senior wideout has gone for triple-digits and multiple scores in three of his four games this year, with the lone outlier being a 94-yard, one-touchdown performance against Wis.-Stout in Week 2. The Gusties have a bye this week and will return to the field next Saturday to host Concordia.
Hamline defensive back Kaden Smith registered a career-high 11 tackles, along with a fumble recovery, in last week's loss to Concordia. The Pipers will head to Northfield, Minn. this weekend for a Saturday matchup against undefeated St. Olaf.
Saint John's quarterback Jackson Erdmann broke the conference and Saint John's records for career touchdown passes in the Johnnies' 56-10 victory last Saturday at Carleton. He entered the game needing two touchdown passes to tie the record of 100 held by Alex Kofoed (2004-07) and finished 17-of-20 for 334 yards and four touchdowns in only one half of play. Erdmann has now thrown for 300 yards or more in four of his last five games dating back to last season. Saint John's will host Augsburg for its Homecoming contest on Saturday.
St. Olaf quarterback Lars Prestemon was 13-for-19 for 280 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions in St. Olaf's 48-26 victory at Augsburg last Saturday. The sophomore's five-touchdown performance was the first for an Ole since September 29, 2012, when Dan Dobson tossed five touchdowns at Saint John's. Prestemon entered the game with four touchdown passes in his first three starts but found four different receivers for his five touchdowns, with four of the five scores covering at least 32 yards. St. Olaf will host Hamline on Saturday.
St. Thomas running back Josh Parks carried the ball 22 times for 96 yards and a touchdown in the Tommies' loss to Wis.-Eau Claire last week. Parks has 46 touchdowns in 34 career games for the Tommies and is just five touchdowns shy of the all-time program record. The Tommies host Concordia in their Homecoming contest on Saturday afternoon.
|2019 MIAC Statistical Leaders|
|Passing Yards Per Game||Michael Veldman, Gustavus||316.5||Jackson Erdmann, Saint John's||334.5|
|Passing Touchdowns||Michael Veldman, Gustavus||13||Jackson Erdmann, Saint John's||8|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||Khayleb Willis, St. Olaf||140.5||Tom Loeffler, St. Thomas||161.0|
|Rushing Touchdowns||Josh Parks, St. Thomas
Khayleb Willis, St. Olaf
|6||Blake Kragnes, Concordia
Tom Loeffler, St. Thomas
Josh Parks, St. Thomas
|Receiving Yards Per Game||Drew Larsen, Bethel||115.7||Brice Panning, Gustavus||119.5|
|Receiving Touchdowns||Brice Panning, Gustavus||8||Brice Panning, Gustavus||4|
|Tackles Per Game||Derek Glynn, Augsburg||11.0||Travis Brown, Carleton
Derek Glynn, Augsburg
|Sacks||J.W. Windsor, Saint John's||4.5||Alex Berg, Concordia
J.W. Windsor, Saint John's
|Interceptions||Cale Ferrin, Bethel||3||Cale Ferrin, Bethel||2|