PLU LUTES GAMEDAY
NO. 24 PACIFIC LUTHERAN (6-2) AT MENLO COLLEGE (4-5)
Noon, Cartan Field, Atherton, Calif.
PLU leads, 9-1. The Lutes have won the past nine meetings.
WHAT TO WATCH
The Lutes get to make the 800-mile trek to see an opposing offense with which they are very familiar – the “fly” offense.
That is because first-year Oaks’ coach Mark Speckman spent 17 seasons at Willamette University, PLU’s Northwest Conference rival.
It’s an offense that usually features a number of different rushers – and the Oaks do that with Brandon Bell (team-leading 544 rushing yards), Jake Fohn (464) and Michael Alexander (315).
With receiver Kellen Westering out with a knee injury, the Lutes have downshifted from their high-flying passing attack to a more balanced approach.
PLU is second in the conference in rushing yards (145.5 ypg) behind Linfield, although quarterback Dalton Ritchey (147 of 243, 2,066 yards, 14 TDs) has had no trouble connecting with receiver Kyle Warner (five 100-yard receiving games).
With 911 receiving yards, the Tumwater High graduate has a good shot at becoming the seventh PLU receiver to eclipse the 1000-yard mark in a season.
If the Lutes win, they will have gone undefeated on the road for the second time in three seasons.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
PLU is in the mix for an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs. PLU is ranked sixth in the West Region, and the selection committee has regularly taken seven schools from the region. And of the at-large candidates, the Lutes have the strongest strength of schedule.
TNT pick: PLU, 30-19