The University of Dubuque football team opens the division three national playoffs on Saturday with a visit to sixth ranked North Central of Illinois. The Spartans have been idle since claiming the Iowa Conference championship back on November fifth and coach Stan Zweiful says they have used the extra time off to rest and get ready for the playoff opener.

He says they took advantage of the week off to get game tape of several teams to prepare for possible teams they would face in the playoffs. Zweiful says the only bad news is that they didn’t end up playing any of the teams they’ve been scouting.

Instead the Spartans will take on a 9-1 North Central team that features a defense which is giving up less than 11 points per game. Zweiful says they are probably in the top four teams nationwide as he says they have one of the best defenses in the country. He says they try not only to stop you, but try to crush you in the process.

The Cardinals have intercepted 21 passes this season and returned six for touchdowns as he says they are very good at pressuring the quarterback with a four-man rush and that causes turnovers.

Dubuque will counter with an offense that is ranked second in the country at 508 yards per games. Zweifel says he thinks they have the two best receivers on the same team in America in Division 3 football regardless of what happens in this game. He says their quarterback has thrown 42 touchdowns to 7 touchdowns, which he says is as phenomenal as the interception returns for touchdowns.

Zweifel says they are excited to showcase their program against one of the top programs in the country. Dubuque finished the season 9-1 and this will be the Spartans first appearance in the playoffs since 1980.