Last week, they faced a team that played as if it was auditioning for a spot in the Indoor Football league. This week, Hamline takes on a foe that, at times, looks like it came out of an old NFL Films video. The Pipers travel to Gustavus Saturday to face a team that hasn't scored a lot of points and hasn't given up a lot, either.
Both teams stand 1-2 overall, 0-2 in the MIAC.
Both teams are averaging 19 points per game in their two MIAC games. With the exception of a 10-minute scoring bliztkrieg in the second quarter of last Saturday's 48-24 HU loss to Augsburg at home, their defensive numbers look a lot alike as well. (The Gusties know a little about how well Augsburg can move a football. The Auggies, who which gained 409 yards against HU, ran up 475 yards total offense in a 26-24 win on September 15.)
On offense, both teams have rushed for more yards than they have passed for in all three of their games. The Pipers found a solid third option to compliment Kevin Ackerley and Austin Duncan when Ryan Ferkinhoff rushed for 77 yards and a TD against the Auggies. Gustavus QB Muresuk Mena has rushed for 157 yards and 5 TDs so far. When he doesn't keep the ball, Jeffrey Dubose had rushed for 303 total yards, fourth best in the conference.
Defensively, Hamline's John-Michael Vandenberg (12.0) and Patrick Page (11.0) rank 2-3 in tackles per game. The Gusties have a one man thorn on the other side of the ball in the form of Jake Forcier, who has 16 solo tackles (23 in all), a forced fumble and two interceptions.
It's a game that also matches two of th ebest punters in the league -- Hamline's John Broback (43.7) and Gustavus' Jordan Rudenick (47.3).
This is the 81st meeting in a series that has been going basically nonstop since 1921. Hamline will be looking for its win over Gustavus since a 7-3 triumph in 2005. Head coach John Pate would take a similar result gladly this time.
A webcast and a live stats feed for the game is available by clicking here.