Drake coach Chris Creighton says there is no way to downplay the significance on Saturday’s game at home with the University of San Diego. The two teams that tied for the Pioneer Football League championship a year ago collide in Des Moines and the winner will have a leg up in the race for the conference crown.

Creighton is 2-2 in games against San Diego and 3 of the games have had championship implications. Creighton says a rivalry has developed between the two programs beause of the significance of the outcomes. The last three meetings have played a big part in determining the league title.

“Really our rival is anybody who challenges for the championship, and that is how our guys view it,” Creighton says. Creighton says if the Bulldogs don’t play well on special teams San Diego will have a big advantage, as they are number one in the league in punting and field goals and his team is 10th in punting and near the bottom in field goals.

Last year San Diego used a fourth quarter punt return for a touchdown to edge the Bulldogs 31-24. Creighton says special teams and turnovers could be the key factor again this year.