Morningside hopes to prevent third ranked Doane from jumping into the driver’s seat in the Great Plains Athletic Conference race. The sixth ranked Mustangs host a Tiger squad that has won three straight league games against nationally rated foes and with a victory on Saturday would have the inside track to the league title.
“You know this is kind of the game for them and if they can win it they will be in the driver’s seat for the conference championship”, said Morningside coach Steve Ryan. “It is a big game for us and we can’t allow them to get ahead of us.”
A key in the game will be Doane’s highly ranked run defense against a Morningside offense that is averaging 229 yards on the ground per game. Doane coach Matt Franzen says avoiding early mistakes against Morningside is crucial. The Mustangs have scored two defensive touchdowns in the first quarter of their last two conference games.
“You can’t do that in any game but against a team as explosive as this one if you gift wrap defensive touchdowns for them your fate is pretty well sealed”, said Franzen. “We need to take care of the ball on offense.”
Turnovers have played a big part in Doane’s 5-0 start. The Tigers are a plus-15 in turnover margin and Ryan says they are winning with a Big Ten style of play.
“They run the ball well, control the ball and play great special teams”, added Ryan. “They have scored a number of special teams touchdowns this year and their defense creates turnovers. They do a great job with the fundamentals of the game.”