One week after beating the top team in the nation, Wayne State College visits Northern State today.
The Wildcats defeated previously No. 1 ranked and defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth 7-0 last Saturday in Wayne, Neb. It was the first-ever win by Wayne over Duluth in 11 all-time meetings and snapped a 31-game win streak by the Bulldogs in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play since the Bulldogs rejoined the league in 2008.
Northern State (1-2, 0-2) will host Wayne State (2-1, 2-0) at 1 p.m. today at Swisher Field in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contest.
The Wolves are coming off a 27-22 loss against Concordia-St. Paul. NSU took the lead in the fourth quarter against the Golden Bears, but was unable to close out the game and earn the victory.
You have to find ways to make another play and eliminate some costly mistakes at times and finish plays, Northern State coach Tom Dosch said.
The Wildcats were able to make the big play against the Bulldogs and finish the game. Wayne State's Kevin Paulsen picked up a blocked punt and raced 36 yards for the game's only touchdown on the final play of the third quarter.
It came down to making a play and Wayne did, Dosch said. In a game like that, that is all you need is one momentum-swing play like. Points were hard to come by because of two good defenses and conditions not being the greatest and so they made the play they needed to win the game.
The Wildcats are now receiving votes in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll. Northern State leads the overall series 15-8-1, but has not won since taking a 29-16 win over the Wildcats in 2005 in Wayne.
They don't have any weaknesses that jump out at you, Dosch said. They are just really well rounded and really well coached.
The Wildcats have the 12th ranked defense in the NSIC, but get after the quarterback - they are second in the league in sacks. Wayne is also first in the league in turnover margin. The Wolves were plagued by turnovers last week in the first half against Concordia-St. Paul.
We really talk about respecting the football and taking care of the ball whenever possible, Dosch said. We really have to make sure we do a good job of that and to give ourselves a chance and make other teams earn their points.
Game Notes: The game will be broadcast on 94.1 FM. ... The Northern State football coaching staff is again participating in the American Football Coaches Association Coach to Cure MD campaign by wearing patches on the sidelines. This marks the fourth year of the Coach to Cure program, an annual effort that has raised nearly a million dollars to date to battle Duchenne muscular dystrophy. ... NSU punter Alex Alvarez is third in the conference in punting average (42.5 yards per punt).
Ht. Wt. Yr.
LT Jim GreenÉ6-4 260 Sr.
LG Rob NeisenÉ6-4 270 Jr.
C Keith MayerÉ6-1 275 Sr.