MIAC and St. Thomas Football defensive records were broken or tied Saturday in the Tommies' 58-7 defeat of Guatavus, and senior linebacker Dylan Andrew was right in the middle of the action.
D3Football.com took notice: Andrew was among 26 players nationally named to D3FB's Team of the Week for games of Nov. 4.
A converted quarterback, Andrew led a balanced Tommie defense. He was in on seven tackles -- all seven for losses totaling 19 yards. In the process he moved into the conference lead for tackles for loss with 13.5 through nine games.
Andrew had two sacks for 14 yards. He added five assisted tackles, all for losses. His work helped the Toms hold Gustavus to a mere three passing yards on just two completions and a net minus-two rushing yards on 39 carries. The Gusties gained just five first downs and were only 1-of-15 in third-down conversions.
The one net yard allowed (51 plays) broke a 2010 MIAC record (held by Bethel) -- and rewrote a 22-year-old UST record -- for fewest yards allowed in an MIAC game.
St. Thomas also tied a school record with 16 tackles for loss.
This fall in UST's 8-1 start. Andrew has a team-best 46 tackles (13.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks), with three break-ups. Last season as a second-team linebacker, he had one interception and 37 tackles, including three tackles for loss.
Andrew also ran in a two-point play from his holder position on Saturday. He has scored 26 career points with two TDs and seven PAT runs, and has thrown three two-point passes.
The Naperville, Ill., native ran the UST scout team offense as a freshman in 2013, then missed the 2014 season with a broken leg. He took over as placement holder in 2015 and also switched to linebacker. In his five-year era on campus, St. Thomas Football is 50-8. UST is 20-2 over the last two seasons and has allowed just 12 ppg during that span.
A Marketing major with 3.51 grade-point average, Andrew is a two-time Academic All-MIAC honoree.
Riding a seven-game winning streak. St. Thomas has secured an NCAA playoff berth for the eighth time in the last nine seasns, and at least a share of the conference title, its sixth in eight years.
UST closes its regular season Saturday at St. Olaf, and with a win will likely will be home Nov. 18 for a first-round NCAA playoff test.
The Tommies' 3-4 defensive front has eight players with starting experience, all juniors or seniors: leading linebackers are Andrew, Steve Harrell, Adam Brant, Blake Weber and Adam Kraft, and top linemen include Austin Jochum, Matt Mitchell and Johnny Heller.
The Tommie defense, which is allowing just 11.1 points a game, ranks in the top five nationally in D-III in eight statistical categories:
- First downs allowed game (nine, 1st);
- Fewest plays a game (55.4, 1st);
- Total defense (155.6 ypg, 1st);
- Tackles for loss per game (11.4, 1st);
- Rushing defense (25.8 ypg, 1st);
- Third-down conversion defense (20.5%, 3rd);
- Passing yards allowed (129.8, 5th);
- Rush touchdowns allowed (2, tie-4th)
Twenty one different Tommies have either a sack, a forced or recovered fumble, or an interception. The Tommie defense has forced nearly nine punts a game.
In seven MIAC games, all victories, the Toms have allowed just 74 net rushing yards on 213 attempts, and only eight defensive TDs. The Toms have outscored MIAC opponents in the second half 120-30.