Game 8 Preview: #21 Concordia at Carleton

Game 8 Preview: #21 Concordia at Carleton

Last Week:
Last week Concordia used 27 straight points in the first half and a near perfect passing day from quarterback Griffin Neal to beat Augsburg 47-20 and become only the fourth Minnesota college to reach 500 career wins as a program.  

The catalyst behind Concordia's 27-point rally and eventual 27-point victory was Neal. He was 19-for-21 for 281 passing yards and had four TD tosses. It is the second time this season he has thrown for over 250 yards.

Neal completed passes to six different receivers and three CC players came away with at least one touchdown catch and five overall receptions. Brandon Zylstra caught a 47-yard TD pass at the start of the second quarter and finished with five catches for 86 yards. Mark Whiting started slow but then had five catches for 86 yards and hauled in a pair of TD strikes. Jon Baune was the third member of the five-catch trio. He caught a 26-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter and had 69 receiving yards.

In addition to his 281 yards through the air, Neal also ran the ball a game-high 19 times for 43 yards. He was a part of a Cobber ground game that ran the ball 39 times and gained 149 yards. Junior fullback Domenic Fraboni rambled 36 yards for a score in the second quarter and had a team-high 60 rushing yards. It is the second straight week that Fraboni has had a long TD run.

The Cobber defense came up with many big plays in the game and limited the Auggies to just 20 points on the day. That is the second lowest point total of the year for Augsburg. The CC "Blackshirt" defense also contained the Auggie offense to 380 total yards. Augsburg entered the game averaging 463.0 yards per game.

Concordia vs. Augsburg Game Recap

Carleton is coming off a thrilling 42-37 win over Northfield neighbor St. Olaf last Saturday. The Knights scored 14 points in the first three quarters to capture the Goat Trophy. 

The opening quarter saw a combined 35 points scored as the teams scored on five of the first eight possessions of the game. The Carleton defense then held the Oles to just 16 points in the final three quarters to pick up the win.

Conor Lynch and Anthony Kemper were the offensive juggernauts for the Knights. Lynch was 23-for-34 for 269 passing yards and tossed three touchdown passes. Kemper had 12 receptions for 176 and caught all three TD strikes. He had an 84-yard TD catch to open the scoring in the first quarter.

The two teams combined for 965 total offensive yards in the game. St. Olaf held a 536-429 edge in offensive yards. The Oles held the statistical edge in amost every category and came away with the only turnover in the game but the Knights were able to come up with the big plays when the game hung in the balance in the second half.

Carleton vs. St. Olaf Game Recap

Stat Central:
- 2013 Concordia Statistics

- 2013 Carleton Statistics

- 2013 MIAC Statistics

- 2013 Concordia NCAA Team/Individual Rankings

- 2013 Carleton NCAA Team/Individual Rankings

Pick 6 - 6 Items To Help You Take It To The House:
One of the keys for the Cobbers this weekend will come from the word "between". Concordia is stuck in between tough games and can't get caught looking back at the program's 500th career victory against Augsburg or looking ahead towards next weekend's game at nationally ranked St. Thomas. The Cobbers will have to play to the old sports cliché of "one game at a time" in o0rder to overcome an up and coming Carleton team that can put points on the board.

2. Saturday's Marquee Match-Up will be the Cobber ground game against the Carleton defensive front seven. If Concordia can successfully run the ball and get 5-6 yards on first down then they can set up their economical passing attack and force the Knights to push more players closer to the line of scrimmage. If the Cobbers can control the line of scrimmage and get the fullback trio of Fraboni-McLean and Gotta into the Carleton secondary then they should be able to win the time of possession battle and wear down the Knights by the fourth quarter.

3. Concordia owns the most balanced offensive attack in the MIAC this season. The Cobbers have gained 1451 yards on the ground and 1448 yards through the air. CC is currently third in the MIAC in total rushing yards and fifth in passing yards.

4. The Cobbers have excelled in fourth down situations this season. Concordia is currently 13-for-17 (76%) in fourth down attempts and leads conference in that statistical category. CC is third in all of DIII in fourth down conversion. The next highest completion percentage in the league is 64%. CC's 17 attempts on fourth down are second in the MIAC. St. Thomas has tried for a first down on 19 fourth down attempts.   

5. Carleton has put up over 400 yards in total offense in two of its last three games. The Knights have three 400-plus offensive outputs this season and had a season-high 501 total offensive yards against Grinnell in the season opener. Carleton has only won the time of possession battle in two contests this year and has been on the short side of the turnover margin in four games. Carleton is 1-1 when they have more time of possession than their opponent and 2-2 when they turn the ball over more.

6. We finish off the "Pick 6" with our weekly Wagner Watch. Cobber senior kicker Ben Wagner was a perfect 5-for-5 in extra points last week and was also 2-for-3 in field goal attempts. He finished with 11 of the team's 47 points. His efforts earned his first-ever MIAC Special Teams Player of the Week award. Wagner has now connected on 73 straight extra point attempts which is just 11 shy of the MIAC record. He also leads the MIAC in scoring by kickers with 47 points.          

Last Year:
Concordia and Carleton combined for over 75 points and 800 yards of total offense in the Cobbers' 57-21 win in Moorhead.

The stat sheet will highlight the efforts of both quarterbacks with Concordia signal caller Griffin Neal throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for two scores. Carleton QB Mike Hartwell passed for over 300 yards and two TD's.

Neal finished the afternoon by going 10-for-18 for 257 yards and three TD's. It is the third straight week he has thrown for three scores and second consecutive game he has amassed over 250 passing yards. Neal also rambled for two rushing scores and had 41 rushing yards.  

While the Cobber passing attack was amassing 257 yards through the air, the ground game was its usual self, gaining over 200 yards. CC ran for 217 yards and had three rushing TD's on the day.

The Cobber special teams had a big day as well. Bryce Hentges returned a kickoff 90 yards for the team's second return TD in the past three weeks. His 90-yard return in the second quarter ties for the longest return in program history.

Concordia vs. Carleton 2012 Game Recap

Cobbers vs. Knights Series History: Cobbers lead 25-6-0 (series started in 1921)

Series Synopsis:
Concordia has won 19 of the last 20 meetings between the two teams. The Knights snapped a 15-game losing streak in the series in 2008 when they won 41-28 in Moorhead. That win was also the second for Carleton at Jake Christiansen Stadium in the series – a streak that covered 12 games...the Cobbers are 9-1 in the last 10 games played at Carleton. The only loss for CC in that stretch in Northfield came in 1992 when the Knights prevailed 26-24 The teams played games in the Metrodome in 1996 and 1997 with CC winning both inside contests...the recent series has been dominated by the offense as the last 11 games have averaged 55.8 ppg by the two teams...Cobber head coach Terry Horan is 11-1 vs. Carleton.

Last 10 Meetings
Year Score
2003 Concordia 45 at Carleton 7
2004 Carleton 15 at Concordia 40
2005 Concordia 39 at Carleton 31
2006 Concordia 25 at Carleton 20
2007 Carleton 21 at Concordia 54
2008 Carleton 41 at Concordia 28
2009 Concordia 31 at Carleton 16
2010 Carleton 14 at Concordia 26
2011 Concordia 26 at Carleton 7
2012 Carleton 27 at Concordia 51