All week long, Iâ€™ve been talking to my friend and colleague Eric Peterson of The Forum. He covers small colleges for the newspaper where I cut my teeth during my college years and we love to bounce story ideas off each other and even still work together on stuff from time to time.
So, when Eric told me he thinks a Dickinson State football team he knows little to nothing about is going to walk all over Concordia College, one of the teams he covers on his beat, my ears perked up a bit.
As a Minnesota State Moorhead graduate, I knew WAY too much about the Cobbers a few years ago. They were my schoolâ€™s archrival â€” a rivalry which has since floundered because of MSUMâ€™s position in the NSIC â€” and I had friends playing for the team.
Today, Concordia comes to DSU â€” the team I know WAY too much about at the moment â€” and itâ€™s a little surprising that I donâ€™t know much about them. Though, according to Cobbers head coach Terry Horan, I shouldnâ€™t be.
Horan enters his 10th season with a team that is inexperienced to say the least. The Cobbers return seven starters from last season and half of their starters are underclassmen, many of whom donâ€™t have much experience.
He believes todayâ€™s game against the Blue Hawks will be a challenge for a few reasons, but mostly because DSU already has a game under its belt whereas the Cobbers are opening their season today.
If the Blue Hawksâ€™ front seven can smother the Cobbersâ€™ plans to move the ball on the ground, theyâ€™ll find themselves in a good position. Concordia returns none of its leading rushers from last season and will likely look to 6-foot, 200-pound senior Ben Saaribovre to shoulder the load today.
I wouldnâ€™t be shocked if DSU quarterback Cody Holland uses todayâ€™s game to find out more about his receiving corps. Last week, Holland was 11 of 18 for 160 yards and two TDs. Expect those numbers to go up today. However, heâ€™ll have to contend with a somewhat experienced Concordia secondary and senior free safety Zach Debeltz, who had seven interceptions last season.
Prediction: DSU 33, Concordia 17
The Blue Hawks found out a little about what they can and canâ€™t do last week against Rocky Mountain and still walked away with a win. Concordia may end up being OK sometime this season, but today, I think will belong to the Hawks.