PACIFIC LUTHERAN (2-2) AT PACIFIC (2-3)
1 p.m. , Lincoln Park Stadium, Forest Grove, Ore.
PLU leads, 27-8-3, including a 35-24 victory last season in Puyallup as the latest of its current 15-game winning streak. The last Boxers’ victory came in 1972, 9-7.
WHAT TO WATCH
The PLU deep threat has returned. Two weeks ago against No. 3 Linfield, it was WR Kellen Westering (23 catches, 390 yards, three TDs) who torched the Wildcats’ secondary for two long touchdowns. Last week in a win at Lewis & Clark, WR Kyle Warner (23 catches, 465 yards, three TDs; NWC-leading 20.2-yard-per-catch average) had a career-best 195-yard receiving day. QB Dalton Ritchey is a good enough athlete to avoid the Boxers’ all-out blitzing and locate big plays against the back end of the Pacific defense.
The Boxers got a very efficient day from new starting QB P.J. Minaya (92 of 136, 1,064 yards, nine TDs) against Puget Sound. He completed 25 of 30 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns, and was named the NWC offensive player of the week.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Realistically, the Lutes should be aiming for the No. 2 spot in the conference behind Linfield, and take their chances for an at-large berth to the NCAA playoffs. A win today is a must, even though those postseason odds with two losses already are slim.
TNT pick: PLU, 38-20.
The News Tribune staff