PACIFIC LUTHERAN (0-2) at PACIFIC UNIVERSITY (2-1)
1 p.m. Saturday, Hanson Stadium, Forest Grove, Ore.
Series: PLU leads, 29-9-3. The Lutes had their 17-game winning streak in the series snapped last year in a 31-28 loss in Oregon. Prior to that, PLU had won 13 consecutive games on Pacific’s home field.
What to watch for: Keith Buckley, in his sixth season coaching the Boxers, has developed a simple yet winning formula: Play downhill and go after people. That is evident on offense with running back Bronson Barretto (46 rushes, 206 yards, four TDs), who runs right into the teeth of any defense, And it is evident on defense with their front seven, which doesn’t need to be blitz-happy to go get quarterbacks (six sacks, seven turnovers). … Meanwhile the Lutes are still sorting through personnel combinations and overall communication. Last week, they committed 12 offensive pre-snap procedure penalties. Players later admitted they could not hear very well on the field – a big enough problem that the coaching staff has contemplated going to either a silent-count or “clap” system. New starting quarterback Jon Schaub (57 of 96, 686 yards, four TDs, four INTs) has opened his career with back-to-back 300-yard passing efforts.
What’s at stake: It is a new season for PLU – conference play – and the Lutes could snatch a big road victory over a marginal NWC contender by winning Saturday.
TNT pick: Pacific, 27-17.