NO. 2 MINNESOTA DULUTH AT ST. CLOUD STATE
What: Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football game
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Husky Stadium (4,198 capacity, artificial turf), St. Cloud, Minn.
Forecast: Sunny with a high of 81 and 6 mph wind
Records: UMD 4-0, St. Cloud State 2-2
Radio: The Fan 1490 AM, as well as KQ 105.5 and 106.7 FM on the Iron Range;
National rankings: UMD is ranked No. 2 in the American Football Coaches Association and D2Football.com polls; St. Cloud isn't ranked.
Series: This is the 45th meeting between the teams in a rivalry that dates to 1933. St. Cloud holds a 23-21 series lead but is 1-7 in its last eight meetings against the Bulldogs. That one victory, however, came last fall when the Huskies handed the then sixth-ranked Bulldogs a 35-7 loss in St. Cloud, Minn.
Coaches: Bob Nielson is 164-57-1 in his 20th season, including 94-24 in 10 seasons at UMD; Scott Underwood is 35-16 in his fifth season at St. Cloud. The Huskies shared the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title last season with UMD and Minnesota State-Mankato.
Outlook: Today's game pits a UMD team that loves running the football against a Huskies team that prides itself on its defense, allowing 330 yards per game. ... UMD is coming off a 42-34 victory over visiting Augustana as the Bulldogs jumped to a 35-6 halftime lead and then held on. Sophomore Aaron Roth had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown en route to being named NSIC special teams player of the week. Junior linebacker Colby Ring added a 23-yard interception return for touchdown, senior quarterback Chase Vogler threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore running back Austin Sikorski added 85 rushing yards and two more scores. UMD linebacker Nick Lloyd has returned from an ankle injury and will provide depth at outside linebacker. ... St. Cloud is coming off a 24-19 road victory at Wayne State (Neb.), a game in which the Huskies got strong play from their defense in the first half and their offense in the second half. Junior running back Michael Walker rushed 25 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns while redshirt freshman Ledell White added 70 yards on 16 carries as St. Cloud continues to shore up an offensive line that was depleted by graduation losses. Quarterback Phillip Klaphake was 16-for-29 passing for 222 yards against Wayne, with his top target being Eli Shoemaker (five catches, 102 yards).
Jon Nowacki is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune