CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY (0-0) at PUGET SOUND (0-0)
1 p.m., Baker Stadium, Tacoma
The series: Chapman won the only meeting, 55-35, last season in Orange, Calif.
What to watch: One game away from reaching the NCAA Division III playoffs a season ago, the SCIAC runner-up lost one of the best tailbacks on the West Coast when junior Jeremiah McKibbins (knee) suffered a season-ending knee injury during training camp. That will put more pressure on QB Michael Lahey to make additional plays for an option-read rushing attack that ranked sixth in the country in 2012 (281.9 ypg). ... In last year’s game, UPS quarterback Braden Foley passed for a career-high 480 yards after the Loggers got down 28-0 early. He will need to be quick and decisive in getting passes off against the Panthers’ zone blitzes.
What’s at stake: Anytime you can snap a long losing streak – in the Loggers’ case, it has reached 19 games in a row – getting a win is a big deal.
TNT pick: Chapman, 35-30. LUTES GAMEDAY
No. 12 PACIFIC LUTHERAN (0-0) at No. 18 CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN (0-0)
Noon, William Rolland Stadium, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The series: Tied, 9-9. The Kingsmen have won four of the past five meetings, including a 37-23 victory last season in Puyallup. PLU’s last win came in 2010 – 35-21.
What to watch: The roles are reversed in the rematch a year later – the Lutes boast a lot of returning firepower while CLU has more questions than answers. The Kingsmen lost two quarterbacks (Zach Shultis, Kevin Ramay) who combined for nearly 3,000 passing yards, and a 1,300-yard rusher in Romello Goodman. Up next is transfer Cameron Deen, a big-armed quarterback who has been at Northern Colorado and Middle Tennessee State. ... Expect a big effort from quarterback Dalton Richey and the PLU offense, especially against a CLU defense with eight new starters. Richey threw for 337 yards in his starting debut last year vs. CLU.
What’s at stake: A win over a ranked West Regional opponent would give the Lutes a lot of tiebreaker advantages for an NCAA Division III playoff berth down the line. Yes, it should serve as motivation.
TNT pick: PLU, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org