KICKOFF: 1 p.m.
SITE: Ed Widseth Field in Crookston
SERIES: SCSU leads, 8-0
LAST MEETING: SCSU won 66-13 in Crookston last season
RECORDS: SCSU 3-2 NSIC, 3-2 overall; Crookston 1-4 NSIC, 1-4 overall
LAST WEEK: SCSU beat UMD 51-49; Crookston lost 35-2 to Bemidji State
RADIO: 1450 KNSI-AM
St. Cloud State’s 51-49 win over Minnesota-Duluth last Saturday was arguably one of the biggest, and most entertaining, wins in the program’s history.
So where do the Huskies go from beating the second-ranked team in the country? Well, they end up on the road facing one of the worst Division II programs in the country in Minnesota-Crookston. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. today in Crookston.
The Golden Eagles (1-4 NSIC, 1-4 overall) snapped a 39-game NSIC losing streak with a 33-28 win over Southwest Minnesota State on Sept. 22. That streak went all the way back to 2008.
Crookston has a new coach this year in Paul Miller, but the Golden Eagles are still being outscored by an average of 30 points a game. Crookston gives up 43.2 points a game and only scores 13 points a game.
The Huskies (3-2 NSIC, 3-2 overall) are trying to avoid having a letdown against the Golden Eagles, even though one isn’t likely. St. Cloud State rolled to a 66-13 win at Crookston last season while compiling a school-record 770 yards of total offense.
“Sometimes it can get hard getting up for a game like this,” SCSU defensive lineman Chris Rupe said. “We have to have the same mind-set that we had against Duluth for Crookston. We can’t have any mistakes. We made the mistake last year of underestimating a few teams. We don’t want to do that again this year.”
If you take a look at the St. Cloud State record book, a lot of those marks happened against Minnesota-Crookston.
SCSU head coach Scott Underwood said his team still needs a lot of work, especially on special teams where bad snaps and other follies have plagued the Huskies this season.
“We had dropped passes, blocked field goals, an interception and all sorts of things that plagued us against Duluth,” Underwood said. “We had plenty of miscues on defense as well. We put ourselves in a tough position. We’re not there yet in a lot of areas.”
St. Cloud State’s main concern defensively will be trying to stop Golden Eagles running back Richard Haley, who is second in the NSIC in rushing with 615 yards and three touchdowns. Haley’s averaging 123 yards on the ground per game.
“He’s a very talented athlete and we have to contain him,” Underwood said.
* St. Cloud State has several players questionable for today with ankle injuries. Those players include tight end Corey Henne, cornerback Jack Moro and wide receiver Damon Treat. Kicker/punter Tyler Aldridge (right quadriceps strain) missed practice during the week, but will try and give it a go today.
Aldridge re-injured himself at Wayne State two weeks ago. He had to pull himself out of the game against Minnesota-Duluth last week because it progressively got worse.
* St. Cloud State has never lost to Crookston, holding an 8-0 all-time series lead. The closest game between the two programs happened in 2004 with SCSU pulling off a 29-14 win.
* SCSU junior quarterback Phillip Klaphake has 6,276 passing yards to place him third on the all-time SCSU passing chart. He trails second-place Tom Nelson by 198 yards. Nelson threw for 6,474 yards from 1980-83.
* SCSU running back Michael Walker went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career last week. He has 1,046 yards on the ground for his career with 20 TDs.
* Senior strong safety Cecil Brown Jr. has 67 tackles this season for the Golden Eagles. That ranks him first in the NSIC and second nationally.