No. 3-ranked St. Thomas (4-0 overall, 2-0 MIAC) returns home this Saturday to face the Gusties of Gustavus Adolphus (2-2, 1-2). Kickoff is set for 1:10 p.m. at Palmer Field in O'Shaughnessy Stadium. It's Family Weekend at St. Thomas.
Guests coming to campus on Saturdays to watch UST football are asked to park on South Campus. Anderson Parking Facility, entrance on Grand Ave. and Cretin Ave. South, will open for complementary parking on football game days at 8 a.m. It will close an hour or so after the game. Morrison Ramp R-2 and lot R-3 are open only for resident permit holders. Guests are asked not to try to park in Lots A and B on game days because these lots are filled.
On football Saturdays, persons with state-issued disability permits may park in Lot B, the closest access point to the stadium for parking (Enter off of Selby and Finn Avenues to the north). New this year is the addition of a mobility-impaired drop site for football games. This is located at the Anderson Student Center turnaround just north of the Summit-Cretin intersection. Enter off of northbound Cretin Ave. and pull up toward the stadium. Guests may be let out and picked up at the same location after the game.
As always, out of courtesy to our neighbors, people attending St. Thomas for any event are asked to park on campus and not on city streets surrounding campus. Because of the city permit parking, vehicles may be ticketed or towed by the City of St. Paul
WCCO Radio, 830 AM, will again carry all Tommie football games live on radio and the internet. Dave Lee will call the game with Eric Nelson adding color and sideline info. WCCO is now in its 89th consecutive season of broadcasting Saturday college football games. Its acclaimed clear-channel signal extends throughout Minnesota and into parts of Canada, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.
Click here to access WCCO’s webpage with a link to a Listen Live button:
There will be live stats and live video provided by St. Thomas, with in-game updates available at www.TommieMedia.com
Live video (click on link below and scroll down to Channel 1 and click to access):
Last October here at UST, the Tommies held off Gustavus 20-7. UST raced to a 13-0 lead in the first eight minutes on two Dakota Tracy TD passes. St. Thomas used three interceptions and eight tackles for loss in another solid defensive day. The Tommies, who outgained Gustavus 339-212 in total offense, allowed just 27 points in a 5-0 run through October 2011.
This marks the 80th meeting between the schools, who have played in each of the last 60 seasons. St. Thomas leads the series 42-36-2.
The Tommies will play four of their last six 2012 regular-season games at O'Shaughnessy Stadium.
A key to Saturday will be the Gusties' balanced rushing attack, which ranks No. 1 in the MIAC at 253 ypg, trying to dent the UST run defense, which ranks sixth nationally at 53.5 ypg.
St. Thomas has outscored opponents 52-10 in the third quarter this season. Over the last four seasons, their third-quarter margin on foes is 410-96.
Gustavus’ 2-8 record last season included three losses by eight or less points. The Gusties played St. Thomas to a 20-7 road loss; was tied with Bethel in the second half; and trailed St. John’s by only one point in the fourth quarter.
This season the Gusties are close to being a 4-0 team. They have wins over Simpson and Hamline. They fell 17-14 at St. Olaf, and lost to Augsburg 26-24 on a Hail Mary pass into the end zone on the game’s final play. After finishing minus-7 in turnovers last season, Gustavus is plus-10 this season, third best in Division III. The Gusties’ 12 fumble recoveries are second most among all NCAA teams at all levels. The Gusties are allowing 251 passing yards a game, though, a trend UST will look to exploit.
Senior QB Muresuk Mena and junior RB Jeffrey Dubose have helped GAC lead conference teams in rushing at 253 ypg. Punter Jordan Rudenick is averaging 45.3 ypp. In all, 18 of the Gusties' 24 starters are juniors and seniors.
For more on the Gusties, click here:
St. Thomas has won 28 consecutive regular-season games since a 2009 overtime loss at St. John’s.
UST's conference victory streak is 21. It home-field victory streak is nine, part of a 26-2 home record in five seasons under Glenn Caruso.
St. Thomas is 40-0 since Sept. 2008 in games when it scores 21 or more points.
St. Thomas (4-0) is third in the AFCA national poll and No. 4 in this week's D3Football.com national rankings. The Tommies moved ahead of UW-Whitewater this week by D3Football, a first in the 10-year history of the poll.
Click here to view this week's poll results:
St. Thomas has won 42 of its last 46 games… Over the last three seasons, UST is 29-2, including a 11-1 record outside the MIAC... The Tommies are 17-2 against non-conference opponents under Glenn Caruso after going 2-12 in non-conference play in its previous 10 seasons… The Toms are 17-1 in September games under Caruso, with the lone loss in six overtimes at St. Olaf in 2008... The Tommies lead MIAC teams in total offense (514 ypg), scoring (40 ppg) and run defense (53.5 ypg)... QB Matt O'Connell is ranked No. 20 in Division III total offense at 318 ypg.
St. Thomas had no turnovers and rolled up 598 yards of offense and scored a 47-24 win at Carleton. UST scored 21 unanswered points to start the third quarter and build a 31-point cushion. With his 13 carries for 123 yards on Saturday, freshman RB Brenton Braddock became the fourth different Tommie in the last two seasons to surpass 100 rushing yards. QB Matt O’Connell nearly became No. 5 as he rushed nine times for 95 yards.
--In just five seasons, Glenn Caruso (47-7 won loss) has already moved into fourth in coaching victories at UST and is on pace to move past Frank Deig (56 wins) into first as early as the 2013 season.
--The MIAC still has three unbeaten teams. All three -- the Cobbers, Royals, and Tommies -- are each breaking in a new starting quarterback, either a freshman or a sophomore. The same can be said at Augsburg and Gustavus.
--In his first career start on Sept. 1, Tommie sophomore QB Matt O'Connell scored the winning TD on a 32-yard run in the final 3:00 to beat UW-Eau Claire, 27-24. UST won its first game since 1993 in which it overcame a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit. On Sept. 15, O'Connell passed for 403 yards (301 in the first half) in a 43-9 home win over UW-River Falls.
--In 18 games over the last two seasons, the Tommie defense has 28 interceptions, 134 tackles for loss and 56 sacks while holding teams to a 24 percent conversion rate on third downs.
--The Tommies start one freshman (OT Luke Marks) and have had another 15 freshmen or sophomores who either start or play significant minutes.
--RBs Aaron Terrell-Byrd, Ryan Toney and Brenton Braddock and WR-KR Jack Gilliland have combined for 1,010 all-purpose yards on 142 touches. Byrd and Toney are sophomores, while Braddock and Gilleland are freshmen.