WAYNE STATE AT MINNESOTA DULUTH
National rankings: Wayne State isn’t ranked; UMD is ranked No. 23 in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll and No. 19 by D2Football.com.
Series: UMD leads 13-1, including a 34-31 victory in double overtime when the teams last met on Sept. 23, 2017, in Wayne, Neb.
Coaches: Dan McLaughlin is 77-84 in 15 seasons at Wayne State; Curt Wiese is 67-13 in seven seasons at UMD.
Outlook: Wayne State is coming off a 30-7 homecoming victory over Minnesota-Crookston as the Wildcats broke away in the second half, sparked by their defense, including Nicholas Joynt’s safety and J’Von France’s 41-yard interception return for a touchdown. … Wayne State likes to run the football, only completing 3 of 6 passes for 33 yards against the Golden Eagles. That bodes well for the Wildcats on a day when cold, wet and windy conditions are expected, but it also bodes well for a UMD defense that historically is stout against the run. Quarterback Tavian Willis rushed eight times for 148 yards against Crookston while fellow freshman Devin Merkuris added 18 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown. … UMD is coming off a humbling 52-7 loss at third-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato. The Mavericks' Shane Zylstra had a career-high 220 receiving yards on eight receptions and three touchdowns en route to NSIC offensive player of the week honors. Teammate Nate Gunn was no slouch either, adding 20 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown, becoming the Mavericks’ all-time leading rusher and rushing touchdowns leader. The Bulldogs had their 24-game NSIC winning streak snapped. UMD sophomore quarterback Garrett Olson was 8-for-16 passing for 130 yards and a touchdown in relief of the injured John Larson, and Olson could be counted on again if Larson can’t go.
Speaking up: Cal Barr with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes speaks to the Bulldogs most Thursdays and had some words of wisdom to pass onto the Bulldogs this week, relaying the amazing story of explorer Ernest Shackleton and the value of perseverance.
She said yes: Chase Vogler, UMD offensive coordinator and former Bulldogs quarterback, proposed to his girlfriend, former UMD soccer player Kelli Klun, Wednesday night at 42nd Avenue East Beach while on a walk with their dogs.