No.3 Missouri Western is set to face off against no.1 Minnesota State-Mankato on Saturday on the road in the Division II Quarterfinals.
Western is coming off Saturday’s fresh road victory over Henderson State. The game became the first road playoff victory for the Griffons and helped send them to Minnesota to play against the top-seeded Mavericks.
The Griffons are 8th in Division II in rushing offense, scoring 43 rushing touchdowns and collecting over 3,600 rushing yards. Michael Hill places second among fellow rushers averaging 172.08 yards per game to go with his 16 rushing touchdowns on the season. As a finalist for the 2012 Harlon Hill Award, Hill and Western are going to test Mankato’s defense.
In Division II, the Mavericks rank sixth in rushing defense. They’ve only allowed 12 rushing touchdowns on the season and give up just over 83 rushing yards per game. The surprising stat is that Mankato’s opponents only average 2.63 yards per carry.
Western doesn’t hold a high spot in rushing defense, but it has solid stats that will help it against Mankato. Overall, the Griffons only allow 154.77 rushing yards per game on 4.37 yards per carry.
The Mavericks are just a few spots behind Western, ranking 17th in rushing offense. With just under 2,800 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns, Mankato’s offense will suffer slightly due to their lack of an outstanding rusher.
Overall, Western’s scoring offense ranks 14 spots ahead of Mankato’s. The Griffons have collected 572 points to the Mavericks’ 454. However, Mankato outranks Western in scoring defense by 30 spots. They allow just over 17 points per game, while the Griffon give up almost 23.
Whoever wins this game will be playing in the Semifinals against the winner of the Valdosta State and Carson-Newman’s game.
The Griffons quarterfinal game is set for this Saturday, Dec. 1. Kickoff will be at noon in Blakeslee Stadium.