Cougars Head North For NSIC Matchup At Minot
SIOUX FALLS, SD -- The University of Sioux Falls is set to face Minot State Saturday in Minot, N.D. for their third meeting in two seasons. The teams met twice in 2011 when USF came out on top, 38-23 and 29-10 to control a 3-1 series lead.
First and 10
• The Beavers return 17 players who registered time in their last meeting with USF (10/29), including 8 starters (3 off./5 def.)
• USF's lineup features 21 players who appeared in last year's game, 10 of which will start (4 off./6 def.) this Saturday
• Carrington Hanna (Streetsboro, Ohio./CalPen) tallied 41 yards and USF's only rushing TD
• The Cougars had three offensive plays of 40 yards or more, two receptions (Hicks, Oates) and one rush (Perkins)
• In his second career start, senior quarterback Taylor Perkins (Mesa, Ariz./Arizona State) posted a game and career-high 82 yards on the ground, while passing for 140 yards and one TD
• Minot's starting Weakside linebacker Chad Marshall tallied a game-high13 tackles
• The Beavers played two players at quarterback in Bryce Jorgenson and CJ Evans, however true freshman Zac Cunha is expected to get this week's start
• USF Defensive end Jameel Melock (Sacramento, Calif./Fresno CC) racked up six tackles, four TFLs (15 yds.), three sacks and one QBH
• Kirk Mason charted four catches for 47 yards for Minot
• USF's defensive pressure was the difference with five sacks, two interceptions (Virgil, Frericks) and a huge scoop and score (Virgil) late in the game
Weapon of Choice
When he needs a big play, Perkins can call on any of his three starting receivers, Kendrick Celestine (Mamou, La./Colorado) (1), Carrington Hanna (4) and Jeremiah Oates (Orangevale, Calif./Sacramento CC) (3), who account for eight USF scores through week two.
Week Two Offense Notables
Hanna hauled in five catches for 88 yards and two TDs, including a 61 yard TD reception against MSUM Saturday to increase his scoring total to 24 points on the season. Hanna also recorded a passing TD. He sits in a four-way tie for first in the NSIC in scoring.
Oates and Celestine also had big games last week. Oates caught four passes for 80 yards and two touches, while Celestine pulled in three receptions and went 52 yards untouched on a receiver reverse for his first score as a Cougar. Oates has now scored 12 receiving TDs in 11 career starts.
Kristian Porter was the first USF player to surpass the 100 yard rushing mark this season. He tallied 117 yards and one TD on 14 carries.
Perkins showed a steady arm going 13-21 with no interceptions for 170 yards and three passing TDs for the second consecutive game this season.
The Cougars' offensive line has yet to give up a single sack and is coming off a physical effort that led to 258 rushing yards in USF's win over MSUM.
Week Two Defensive Notables
USF's stout defense allowed just 238 yards of total offense, including 103 yards on the ground. The Cougars' run resistance extended their streak of not allowing a single player to rush for 100 yards or more to 17 games straight. The last player to do so against USF was Josh Endres of Dakota Wesleyan (10/23/10). USF's team defense averages 84.5 rushing yards and 14.5 points per game.
Another interception Saturday gave safety Robert Virgil (Elk Grove, Calif./Sacramento CC) his seventh pick in eight games, Saturday made it four straight.
Week Two Special Teams Notables
Placekicker and punter Braden Wieking (Sioux Falls, S.D./Sioux Falls Christian) added nine points to sit seventh (334) on USF's all-time scoring list. He needs just two points to take over the No. 6 spot at 336.
Other aspects of USF's special teams continued to struggle last week. Cougar punt returners muffed three punts (loss two), lowering their return average to 3.0 yard per return. USF also suffered their second blocked (one was a partial) kick this season and third in three games dating back to last season's game at North Dakota (11/4/11).
Where The Cougars Rank Nationally
As of September 8, USF ranks in the top 15 of the NCAA DII in three defensive categories.
Third Down % Defense: USF opponents have converted 5/33 (15.15%) third downs, which ranks 3rd in NCAA DII.
First Down Defense: The Cougars rank 10th, allowing 12.5 first downs per game.
Defensive Passing Efficiency: USF opponents have completed 28-68 (41.18%) passing attempts and thrown three interceptions, which is 14th-best in the nation. The Cougars also claim the lowest completion percentage of any teams that have faced 50 or more passing attempts this season.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls