No. 6-ranked St. Thomas (3-1 overall, 1-1 MIAC) travels to St. Peter to face the Golden Gusties of Gustavus Adolphus College (3-1, 2-1) on Saturday Oct. 12.
Despite resting starting QB Matt O’Connell, who has been slowed by illness, St. Thomas had a school-record 697 yards of offense and had a modern-era scoring best in Saturday’s 65-6 win over Carleton.
Nine Tommies scored points, including TDs from six different players. Glenn Caruso improved to 6-0 in Homecoming games and won his 60th game at St. Thomas. The Tommie defense had three pickoffs and allowed just 29 rushing yards and 2-of-12 in third-down conversions, and UST blocked a punt to set up a TD drive.
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 and ex-St. Thomas star Fritz Waldvogel adding color and sideline interviews.
WCCO is now in its 90th 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:
Gustavus will have live video and live stats, link here: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/gac.portal
There will be in-game updates available at: www.tommiemedia.com
The Tommies lead the all-time series, 43-36-2. The Gusties fell 20-7 and 28-14 in the last two meetings, both at UST’s O’Shaughnessy Stadium.
Gustavus (3-1, 2-1) has already matched its 2012 victory total. GAC outscored its last two opponents St. Olaf and Hamline by a 97-26 margin. Its lone loss was 19-16 at Augsburg.
The Gusties are averaging 407 yards a game, led by RB Jeffrey DuBose’s 172 yards of offense (150 rushing, 22 receiving) and 12 touchdowns. Its first-year starter at QB, Mitch Hendricks, has played well and led a balanced offense. WR Phillip Butler is averaging nearly eight catches a game.
The GAC defense has eight interceptions and has allowed just 27 percent of third-down conversions.
Click here for more on Gustie football: https://gustavus.edu/athletics/fb/
Of UST's 160 points through four games, 117 have been scored by sophomores and freshmen. No Tommie averages more than six points a game.
In the second halves of their four 2013 games, the Tommies have outscored opponents 65-12 –- with just one touchdown allowed. UST’s defense ranks 10th nationally in scoring defense (10.0 ppg), 10th in rushing defense (71.8 ypg), and eighth in total defense (226.8 ypg).
St. Thomas remained No. 6 in this week’s D3Football.com top 25. The Tommies are the lone once-beaten team in the top 10. Five MIAC teams are in the top 35 of the voting in the poll. The MIAC is 13-1 in non-conference play.
Elsewhere in the D3football rankings, Bethel (4-0) is at No. 5 and Concordia-Moorhead (3-0) is at No. 22. Augsburg (3-1) and St. John’s (3-1) are among the top point getters not ranked in the top 25.
Backup QB Ben Duncan, a fifth-year senior, suffered a career-ending knee injury recently in practice. Sophomore John Gould moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart to replace Duncan behind starter Matt O’Connell, with soph Alex Fenske also in the mix.
In Saturday’s win, Gould (St. Thomas Academy), made his first college start as O’Connell was held out as he recovers from illness. Gould rushed four times for 95 yards and completed 9-of-12 passes for 127 yards with one intercepted. His 66-yard scamper set up the Tommies' first score. Fenske (Marshall, Minn.) took his first varsity snaps and played equal stretches with Gould. Fenske completed 13-of-17 passes for 208 yards and no turnovers.
In the last 12 games dating back to last October, four different St. Thomas backup quarterbacks have played significant minutes due to injury or illness to starter O’Connell.
Here’s a statistical oddity: The Tommies’ longest pass gain this season is a three-way tie at 42 yards – one completion each by O’Connell, Gould and Fenske.
--St. Thomas has won 14 consecutive MIAC road games.
--The Toms have been ranked in the top 10 by D3football.com for 49 consecutive polls.
--St. Thomas is 52-0 under Caruso when it scores 21 or more points in non-overtime games.
--St. Thomas’ Sept. 21 loss to the Johnnies (20-18) ended four long winning streaks: 36 regular-season; 27, MIAC games; 18 home field; 18 in September games. The Toms also lost their first game in four seasons when threw a TD pass.
--St. Thomas has only punted eight times in four games (none last Saturday vs. Carleton). Only two Division III teams -- Maine Maritime and Mount Union -- have punted fewer than UST’s 2.0 punts a game.
--St. Thomas has had 49 100-yard rushing performances in the 69-game Caruso era including eight games with multiple 100-yarders. The Toms are 39-3 it that span in games with at least one 100-yard rusher.
--Senior All-America LB Tremayne Williams has 26 tackles for loss (14 sacks) in 33 games over the last three seasons.
--UST’s 59-point victory over Carleton was its largest winning margin in 99 seasons.
--The Tommies 108 first downs gained and 45 first downs allowed each ranks atop the MIAC.
--Through four games, UST has allowed only one gain (rush, reception or return of more than 36 yards).
--Through four games, UST has not allowed an individual 100-yard rushing output or a 200-yard passing performance.
--Balance: Through four games, UST has not had a 100-yard receiving game by one player or 100-yard rushing performance by a running back (QB Matt O’Connell rushed for 108 yards vs. Eau Claire).
--Freshman RB Nick Waldvogel has three TDs and averages 83.6 all-purpose yards a game.
--Not only was the Sept. 21 attendance in St. Paul an O’Shaughnessy Stadium record and the largest crowd thus far in 2013 in Division III, but it surpassed the gate at two dozen FBS and FCS games played that day. It also topped all but five Division II games across the country.
--UST has lost just three home games in the last six seasons. The three defeats have come by a combined 10 points.
--In 69 games under Glenn Caruso, when St. Thomas is held under 21 points in four quarters of play, its record is 8-9. When it scores 21 or more... the record is 52-0.
--The five turnovers vs. the Johnnies tied for UST’s most in one game in the Caruso era.
UST football has played 28 home games since the start of the 2010 season (26-2 record), including 10 postseason games. The Tommies' 9-0 mark was the best home record in all of NCAA football last season.
The Toms now play four of their next six games on the road.
St. Thomas returns starters at 15 of 24 positions from an NCAA runner-up team that finished 14-1. That group includes 10 that have been selected first- or second-team all-conference during their careers.
The Tommies graduated three All-America players but return nine offensive starters and a solid corps on defense. Four seniors lead the defensive push: linebackers Tremayne Williams and Harry Pitera; DL Riley Dombek; and safety Josh Carey. O’Connell and sophomore running backs Brenton Braddock and Jack Kaiser lead the Tommie run game behind an experienced line.
Williams played all 15 games last season and had 70 tackles (10 tackles for loss, four sacks), three forced fumbles, two interceptions, five break-ups, one fumble recovery. Braddock scored 16 TDs and rushed for 1,132 yards in 12 games after starting the year No. 3 on the depth charts.
UST has several freshmen and transfers on this week’s two-deeps. Among those that have played a lot thus far are three true freshmen -- offensive tackle Will Hilbert; RB-KR Nick Waldvogel; and WR-KR Jordan Millis -- plus transfers TE Greg Kriege and LB Matt Larson.
Glenn Caruso (60-9 record), last season’s AFCA and Liberty Mutual Division III National Coach of the Year, surpassed 50 Tommie coaching victories in his fifth St. Thomas season. By comparison, John Gagliardi won his 50th game at St. John’s in his 10th season; ex-Mount Union coach Larry Kehres won his 50th game in his seventh season.
Caruso moved into first in UST football coaching victories last postseason he passed Frank Deig (56 wins, 1947-58).
Caruso did something possibly unprecedented in college football –- improve his team’s record in each of his first seven seasons as a head coach. He took over a Macalester team coming off an 0-9 season in 2006 and went 2-7, then 4-5. He took over a 2-8 Tommie program in 2008 and posted season records of 7-3, 11-2, 12-1, 13-1 and 14-1.
Tommie football only won five of its 25 season-opening games from 1983-2007 (5-19-1). Since Caruso took over, UST is 6-0 in season-opening games.